Harry & Meghan: Carol Vorderman shares her ‘anger’ at show
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Following a career spanning more than 30 years, there isn’t much that Carol Vorderman hasn’t done. To name a few, she obtained a degree from Cambridge, released countless books and held a 26-year presenting position on Countdown.
Now, the 62-year-old could be striving for a career in politics, specifically education policy.
The mother-of-two grew up in North Wales and was educated at state school, Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School, in Rhyl – one of the most deprived areas in the country.
She has described her upbringing as one of “extreme poverty”, living in a single-parent household and relying on free school meals.
Following her tough childhood, Carol has maintained that her “driving force” has always been education.
She told Express.co.uk: “Education is the changemaker. It is f***ing hard when you are poor and it is bl**dy hard when you are in a sh*t school.
“All of those different things are just hard. I think if it hasn’t happened to you, you have no understanding about how hard it is. It is everything.”
For much of her career, Carol has worked to improve education for children, including writing educational books and fronting her free maths website, The Maths Factor.
Now, Carol says she “would love” to go into education policy for the betterment of children.
She went on: “I have a good heart and my belief is in the right place in the children, the teachers and the differences in the system.
“My kids went to private school and I could see the difference. I’ve experienced, from the finest university education to Rhyl and a school in special measures, free school meals and all the rest of it.
“I’ve lived it, albeit a long time ago. So, yeah, I would be very interested in going into that for the children.”
As for the current state of politics in the country, Carol sighs as she says: “You will rarely hear a moan out of me, unless it’s about politicians, corrupt politicians, that’s about it.”
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Carol has now teamed up with Amazon as a judge on the Alexa Young Innovator Challenge. The competition is designed to upskill 13 to 18-year-olds in artificial intelligence (AI) and prepare them for future careers.
It also provides teachers access to free lesson plans and materials to engage and inspire students.
New research found that jobs that require computer science, AI, or machine learning skills are expected to increase by 40 percent in the next five years.
YouGov also found that more than two thirds of secondary school teachers say children don’t have enough information to understand future career opportunities that involve computer science and AI.
The competition forms part of Amazon’s Future Engineer programme. It invites students to code their own Alexa Skill, exploring the possibilities of using AI to help solve societal issues ranging from climate change and healthcare, to poverty and homelessness.
Winners will be selected in two age categories, together with 20 runners-up, by judges including Carol.
Explaining what she is looking for in the entries, Carol said: “This competition isn’t about the most brilliant mathematician or the most brilliant electronics engineer or anything.
“It’s what you can think of that will be good for a community and it is bringing what kids already know like CGI.
“I am sure there will be themes that the kids will think about. I’m interested to see how they think Alexa can help a community, how it can bring it together.
“I will be interested to see what they come up with. I have great faith in the younger generations than mine.
“I think younger generations are kinder and I think they are more appreciative of democracy and I think that they just have a different attitude – particularly with the girls.
“They just see equality much more than my generation ever did.”
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