CCF celebrated Women’s Day with a Girls in Science and Technology Fair

CCF’s girls led the way at a celebration to showcase the best of science and mark the first year anniversary of the opening of the Neeson Cripps Academy.

Held at the Academy, the Girls in Science and Technology Fair on March 8 coincided with International Women’s Day, a global event to honour the achievements of women around the world.

Opened by four generations of women speaking about their experiences with schooling, the fair featured science-themed presentations from CCF students exploring topics such as engineering and coding.

Visitors were also able to get up close and personal with some interactive fun at booths displaying activities including Lego robotics, while live science experiments were held on stage.

Sponsored by Microsoft, the fair was part of MSFT project, Make What’s Next, which encourages girls to enter tech and science fields.

Construction of the Neeson Cripps Academy (NCA), which provides impoverished Cambodian children with a high quality education focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, was a gift from Velcro Companies, a supporter of advancing education for children across the globe.

The NCA in Steung Meanchey, Phnom Pehn, was named after Robert Cripps, former Velcro Companies Chairman, and Scott Neeson, Founder and Executive Director of the Cambodian Children’s Fund.

Mr Cripps travelled from Australia to be guest of honour at the fair and see how the Academy was progressing 12 months after first opening its doors to CCF’s students.

“I always love to see the children, they are what this is all about,” said Mr Cripps, who was presented with a 3D model of the NCA made at the Academy.

Mr Cripps became involved in Cambodia and CCF when he saw a profile on Australian television in 2012 about Scott Neeson and his work to turn around the lives of children and families living on the city dump.

“We thought this is remarkable what he’s doing. I just thought ‘he’s given up so much to come here’,” said Mr Cripps.

“You only had to spend one evening here to understand why he came. It’s just obvious.

“I thought this (the community) was going to be a place of sadness but it’s not. It is a place of hope and happiness and lots of children who are confident.

“I am very happy to have been able to help and will continue to help.”

* Find out more about Microsoft’s Make What’s Next project at

By Kate Ginn/CCF

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