Technovation challenge 2015 for girls kicks off

By Emmanuel Okwuke / Senior  IT. Correspondent 

 

Technovation 2015, a mobile software development competition specifically meant for the girl child is now open for registration  till  February15. As a program of iridescent, the mission of Technovation is to empower young women to use technology to make the world a better place. In 2014, 1,500 girls from around the globe developed 362 mobile apps, making Technovation the largest global technology entrepreneurship programme for girls.

In a release signed by a Technovation representative in Nigeria, Mrs. Matha Alade, this Challenge is open to secondary school girls between the ages of 10 and 18 who would work in teams of five (5) to develop Mobile Apps, conduct market research, write business plans and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team is expected to work with a classroom teacher in their school and a female mentor/role model from a technology industry. Teams will compete in one of two divisions: middle school or high school.

The age of the oldest girl on the team will determine the team’s division. Top ranked teams from each division will qualify to travel to  San Francisco for World Pitch: Technovation makes travel scholarships available to the finalist teams who cannot cover the travel costs on their own. At World Pitch: One winner from the middle school category will be selected to win $10,000, and one winner from the high school category will win $10,000.

The statement says Technovation’s mission is to motivate and educate girls and women to solve real-world problems through technology, inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the industry. Students work in teams to develop mobile app ‘start-ups’ to solve real problems in their communities.

The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.

Over this period, girls will be trained two hours a week to develop a potential solution to a problem and programme a mobile phone application to solve it. The app must solve a problem in their local community. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of  resource.

They will learn how to study the market, analyse  competitors, identify ways in which they can gather user feedback and earn revenue. Each team will be guided by a teacher from their school and a female mentor from the high tech industry to support and act as a role model for her team.

Also, the statement noted that Technovation coaches coordinate teams of up to five (5) young women to work with female mentors to come up with an app idea, conduct user research, create a business plan, design an app, and develop a prototype. Leaders from the technology and business sectors judge the apps and provide feedback to the teams.

“Iridescent is a science-education non-profit that helps engineers, scientists and high-tech professionals bring cutting edge science, technology and engineering to high school girls, and underprivileged minority children and their families. Iridescent’s mission is to use science, technology, and engineering to develop persistent curiosity and to show that knowledge is empowering.

Source : Independent

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