It’s the only program with longitudinal impact data to show how tech-entrepreneurship experience has lasting impact on attitudes, beliefs, higher ed and career choices
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The gender gap in technology and STEM is real. Only one in four computing jobs are held by women, there are nearly ten male engineers for every female in the industry and pay gaps, and lack of representation for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ still exists. Far too many girls around the world still lack access to a quality education.
Technovation, the nonprofit dedicated to empowering young women to use tech innovations to solve real world problems in their communities, is on the forefront of mentoring and empowering young women to gain a seat at the table and solve pressing issues—addressing climate, poverty, health care, equity, and education—while tackling gender disparities in tech and STEM.
That’s the backdrop and context for Technovation’s 11th Annual World Summit, held virtually Aug. 12. The Summit recognizes the achievements of girls, ages 8-18, who took part in Technovation Girls, Technovation’s 12-week curriculum program. During the course of Technovation’s 2021-22 season, 16,000+ participants from more than 100 countries worked on nearly 1,700 mobile apps to tackle problems in their communities primarily related to climate action, quality education, health and well-being. As the world’s largest and longest running technology entrepreneurship competition for girls, it is the only program with longitudinal impact data to show how the tech-entrepreneurship experience has lasting impact on attitudes, beliefs, higher ed and career choices for girls. Participants in this curriculum-based program work with mentors and local ambassadors to help their community and develop their own technical and leadership skills.
Technovation introduced several new components in its 2022 season, launching a Beginner Division, an AI curriculum and a new Alumnae Changemaker Award, granted to an alumna tackling climate change. AI was a key focus in 2021-2022. In October 2021, Technovation launched the season with a special live discussion about why the success of AI depends on women. Technovation’s new AI curriculum and submission track resulted in nearly 270 Technovation teams—one in six participating teams—using AI in their apps and tech solutions.
The Aug. 12 event gathered Technovation’s global community in a virtual space to hear from strong and relevant female voices, including NASA astronaut Zena Cardman; a "Role Models" panel with Kay Malcolm Senior Director, Database Product Management at Oracle and Lashes.Love.Tech Podcast Host; Ella Hilal, PhD, VP of Data Science and Engineering, Commercial and Service lines at Shopify; and Krithika Saikrishnan, Lead Software Engineer at FactSet, the panel was moderated by Technovation alumna Grace Attalla, co-founder and leader of Joy to Job, an organization that Grace founded through participating in Technovation in 2020, to help students explore careers by connecting with professionals.
The event’s keynote speaker was Michelle Muchilwa who won the 2021 Technovation Africa Regional Award for her app Ziwa Safi, which fights plastic pollution in the largest tropical lake in the world. She has since been recognized as a National Geographic Young Explorer, a TIME Kid Hero for the Planet, and named a 2022 Diana Award winner, an award established in memory of Princess Diana.
Girls also had the opportunity to participate in a workshop, by Shopify, on how to craft an elevator pitch with Jenneviere Villegas, Senior Engagement Program Manager and Shashini Harischandra, Facilitator, Learning Acceleration at Shopify. The event closed with an award ceremony, led by Technovation CEO Tara Chklovski.
Below are this year’s award recipients (more details here):
BEGINNER DIVISION | 8 – 12 years old
Social Innovation Award
Mariam Yusuph, Sabrina Said, Amina Ramadhan, Jadida Jawadu, Aliath Abdul | team FAHARI YA MSICHANA | Tanzania
For their app Andalio, a digital lesson planning tool for teachers.
Melissa Mel, Samantha Silva, Catarina da Rocha Ferreira, and Katarina Silva | team Connected Girls | Brazil
For their app Connected Ears, which helps alert hearing-imparied users of impending danger.
Anika Jha | team The Unstoppable Tech Girl | India
For her app cHHange – It’s Normal, an app that educates young people about puberty, which is often seen as a taboo topic.
JUNIOR DIVISION | 13 – 15 years old
Social Innovation Award
Rozilla Lenanyukie, Siana Lekuraa, Felister Nashipae, Jacinta Lerte and Dorcas Kanipa | team Almasi | Kenya
For their app EndCut, which aims to stop Female Gential Mutilation & early marriage by providing an alternate road to economic empowerment for Samburu community women.
Sophia Liu, Sonia Lackey and Gwyneth Deng | team 6-Asthma | United States
For their app 6-Asthma, a tool designed for asthma patients.
Spurti Nimbali | team Epicare | India
For their app EpiCare, which helps people diagnosed with epilepsy during emergencies.
SENIOR DIVISION | 16 – 18 years old
Social Innovation Award
Khushalli Shah and Renee Jain | team STEMGirls123 | India
For their app Mahila, which normalizes feminine care.
Diana Alcota Varas and Magdalena Araya-Velasquez | team Justicia Senior 13 | Chile
For their app TAI: difusión de Tecnología, Aprendizaje e Innovación, which allows users to access and share projects, current people who inspire them, organizations, tools, royalty-free material and other resources with each other.
Sally Lee | team ShareEdu | United States
For her app ShareEDU, which provides schools and teachers around the world a precise and convenient way of tracking group discussions to an immediate and multi-faceted analysis or feedback on student participation.
Changemaker Award Winner
Winnie Msamba | Kenya | Morogoro Cocopeat
For her work on Morogoro Cocopeat, an initiative to help small farmers switch to the more environmentally-friendly cocopeat.
Climate Prize Winners
Camila Ortiz, Renata Sánchez, Pia Sobarzo, Victoria Vilches, Catalina Prado | Team Alset Girls | Chile
For their app Owatt, which helps fight climate change. Owatt encourages families to reduce their energy consumption by allowing them to compete with other families, and by giving tips and important information about energy.
Mental Health Prize Winners
For their outstanding work to create technology that addresses mental health:
Luna Yin and Lucy Yin | team Illuminate | Canada
For their app Light, which makes mental health resources on topics ranging from depression and anxiety to sexual health and gender identity more accessible for students.
"It is clear that the world is in crisis, but these winning teams—and, really, every single young person who participates in our program every year—offer a glimmer of hope for all of us," said Tara Chklovski, CEO and founder of Technovation. "Here is an incredibly resilient, global community—the world’s largest group of diverse, inspiring young female innovators creating innovative solutions to tackle the biggest challenges their communities and the world face today."
Launched in 2006, the backbone of Technovation’s success is a curriculum that starts with a community problem and teaches girls to solve it using skills of the future: computational thinking, machine learning, block coding, understanding and using data, AI ethics, and prototyping in addition to other key technology concepts. Technovation has refined this curriculum over 16 years, reaching 370,000 participants in 120-plus countries.
After completing the program, 76% of Technovation alumnae pursue STEM degrees, while 60% work in STEM careers. Many alumnae credit Technovation for their career choice and increasing their self-efficacy choosing careers in computer science, data science, or engineering, working in major companies such as Shopify, Google, Apple, Intel, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Amazon and Meta.
The program is backed by other organizations, such as HSBC, Shopify, ServiceNow, TE Connectivity Foundation, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Vianai due to its high-quality curriculum, availability in multiple countries, and high demand for tech-based learning. Read more about its global and local impact in 2021 HERE.
For more information, visit: https://technovationchallenge.org/.
Technovation is a global tech education nonprofit that empowers girls to become more confident leaders, creators and problem-solvers. Technovation offers engaging, student-centered learning programs in which girls ages 8-18 learn how to use AI and app-based technologies to solve real-world problems. Technovation partners with global organizations like UNICEF, UNESCO and UN Women, and with mentors from companies like Salesforce, Adobe, Shopify, IBM, Google, Oracle, Globant, Ericsson, Intel, HSBC and Microsoft to reach girls and families in more than 100 countries. To learn more, visit technovation.org.
You may also connect with Technovation on Instagram (www.instagram.com/technovationglobal), Facebook (www.facebook.com/technovationglobal), Twitter (www.twitter.com/technovation), Tik Tok (https://www.tiktok.com/@technovation) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/c/TechnovationGlobal).