Microsoft to open £1m DreamSpace Digital Learning Centre for students in W5 Belfast

  • Microsoft is investing £1m in a new DreamSpace Digital Learning Centre in W5 Belfast that will be free for students and contain exhibits on artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and robotics.

    Located in the Odyssey Complex at the waterfront, Belfast's W5 Science & Discovery Centre is a popular destination for tourists and locals who want to immerse kids in technology and the future through play. The centre contains a variety of interactive science and educational exhibits and events on everything from solar power and space technology to augmented reality exhibits and early learning activity areas.

    Microsoft has now announced that it will be investing £1m to bring its DreamSpace digital skills experience to W5. The scheme has proven highly successful in Dublin since it opened its doors in April of last year, with 18,000 children experiencing the exhibit. Only a handful of those attending have been from Northern Ireland, so Microsoft aims to replicate the experience here in Belfast.

    The goal of DreamSpace is to inspire digital creativity and a love of emerging technologies early in life, with Microsoft aiming to open the space for free to all primary and secondary school students across the region. The new learning cenre will contain immersive experiences in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, and robotics.

    The DreamSpace learning centre will opening at W5 in Autumn 2020 and aims to reach over 15,000 Northern Ireland students annually. Before then, the Microsoft Education team will be kicking off a series of events including its upcoming Hour of Code campaign in December 2019 and the Girls in ICT program scheduled for April 2020.

    Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director of Microsoft Ireland, commented on the announcement: "With digital transformation bringing changes to our personal and professional worlds, it is important that our young people understand the role that technology can play in shaping their lives. That’s why today we’re announcing the expansion of DreamSpace to Northern Ireland through the development of a dedicated Digital Learning Centre in the heart of Belfast."

    Source: Microsoft

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    Brendan is a Sync NI writer with a special interest in the gaming sector, programming, emerging technology, and physics. To connect with Brendan, feel free to send him an email or follow him on Twitter.

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