There is a worldwide #STEM workforce shortage #techgirls

In case you haven't noticed, there is a worldwide *STEM workforce shortage. This is costing Australia and other countries around the world billions of dollars each year in opportunity costs because we don't have the workforce we need.

Let's take a step back. What is STEM? Our colleague Meredith [1] describes it well,
"STEM is a pedagogy not a subject area. STEM is learning how to teach with a focus on these four areas and this can be done in a low cost way. The best way to spend scarce money is on teacher training and upskilling teachers to improve their pedagogy, rather than expensive rooms staffed by a specialist. If your specialist moves on all the knowledge and skills are lost".

So while the future of the economy and work is digital, Australia is 44th for employee training in STEM and 53rd in graduating scientists. What is concerning about this is that in 2015 Australia was ninth. When the report compares countries with a similar population, Australia fell from 3rd to 5th, and for those in the Asia-Pacific region from 2nd to 5th. Australia has spent the past few years sliding down the ladder [2].

In our everyday conversations with industry, organisations say they need more qualified staff than are currently available. They want to hire 4th year university graduates in engineering, tech and science but students, in particular women, are not studying STEM at university, or if they choose a STEM discipline area, often they are not making it past the first year of their studies. 

There are economic projections that there is a need for approximately 1 million more STEM professionals than the U.S. will produce at the current rate over the next decade if the country is to retain its historical pre-eminence in science and technology. The UK reports a current shortfall of 173,000 skilled workers as 89% of STEM businesses struggle to recruit, with the shortage costing businesses £1.5 billion a year in recruitment, temporary staffing, inflated salaries and additional training costs [3].

In Australia, the demand for technology workers is predicted to grow by 100,000 between 2018 and 2024 in trend terms, with the technology workforce increasing to 792,000 workers [4] .

Help us to create that pipeline of new workers through our signature 12 week STEM Entrepreneurship Program in 2020. 

1 Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths - explained here: http://observelearndo.blogspot.com/2019/10/how-do-i-teach-steam-5-ideas.html?m=1

2 https://www.ceda.com.au/

3 https://www.stem.org.uk/news-and-views/news/skills-shortage-costing-stem-sector-15bn

4 https://www.acs.org.au/content/dam/acs/acs-publications/Digital-Pulse-2019-FINAL-Web.pdf


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Announcing the Winners for the 2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition! #techgirls #STEM #entrepreneurship

Primary School

Anger Switch, Citipointe Christian College, Brisbane, Queensland

The app ‘Anger Switch’ is directed at primary aged boys and girls. The aim of the app is to help young children identify when they are angry and help bring peace, in a fun way, to children. ‘Anger Switch’ uses calming colours, such as pale blue and violet and includes a description of anger, a fun maze and happy music to bring a sense of calmness. Our app has an image recogniser that is sure to bring a good laugh to you and your friends! Through ‘Anger Switch’, children will be supported along the way to making new friends. 

Secondary School

Codie, Salesian College, Sunbury, Victoria

The app Codie has been developed with primary school-aged children in mind, as a tool for early intervention in mental health management.  The app is designed to assist in developing positive coping strategies in young people and was made in liaison with the Salesian College Wellbeing Team. Codie is a gender-neutral character who will check in with young people and offer them some space to get some help with developing skills in reflection, breathing/de-escalation and a planner to help with time management.

With only 2 entries from New Zealand in 2019 we were unable to offer a NZ National Prize.

SECONDARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Codie, Salesian College, Sunbury, Victoria

The app Codie has been developed with primary school-aged children in mind, as a tool for early intervention in mental health management.  The app is designed to assist in developing positive coping strategies in young people and was made in liaison with the Salesian College Wellbeing Team. Codie is a gender-neutral character who will check in with young people and offer them some space to get some help with developing skills in reflection, breathing/de-escalation and a planner to help with time management.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REGIONAL WINNERS

HealthSpot, Emmanuel College, Warrnambool, Victoria

The HealthSpot app is designed for adolescents to educate and reduce stigma around mental health and illness. Included are techniques on how to stay mentally healthy, positively deal with stress as well as information around mental illness and local mental health services. Features include meditation and deep breathing. This app, designed for adolescents by an adolescent, is unique and modern.

SECONDARY SCHOOL HIGH COMMENDATION

KC’s Food Aid, Killester College, Springvale, Victoria

KC’s Food Aid is an app designed to allow restaurants and other food providers to donate leftover food to homeless shelters, giving people who are in need a chance to not sleep hungry, while also minimising food wastage. The app connects food providers and volunteers, who can then deliver surplus food to homeless shelters. Providing a unique opportunity for food providers to easily reduce the amount of food that gets thrown away each day. Homeless shelters are then able to distribute the food amongst those in need, not only helping the community but also the environment. The unique value of this app is that it allows people who usually would not work together to connect and help each other out.

PRIMARY SCHOOL WINNERS

TechTutor, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, North Sydney, NSW

TechTutor is a completely free designing tutorial multiplatform app that teaches young people the basics of design. The app gives tips and tutorials that will teach young children an exceptional amount of knowledge for designing. If the user already has a reasonable knowledge of designing then the app can also direct the user to other useful external links that are more advanced. The app will show good tutorials on the basics of design so students can do exceptional work in school and prepare them for their future. Technology is our future so start learning with TechTutor!

PRIMARY SCHOOL REGIONAL WINNERS

Read Smart, Dunoon Public School, Dunoon, New South Wales

Read Smart is an app aimed at primary school students aged 4-8. Everything about the app is designed specifically for kids with dyslexia or reading difficulties, to help them with their phonics. The background is a light colour other than pink and the font is Open Dyslexia3. Each time the button is pressed, the character pops up and says the sound or word. This is designed to help students know how each sound is meant to be heard. The learning path progresses from a single sound to a word and then onto a phrase or sentence.

PRIMARY SCHOOL HIGH COMMENDATION

Fit’n’Fun, Mount Annan Public School, Mount Annan, New South Wales

Fit’n’Fun has been designed to increase children's levels of activity and fitness. The app allows the user to earn stars (dollars). Every time the user finishes a workout on the app they will earn 20 stars. There are various sports drills to choose from to complete a workout. Fit’n’Fun includes a detailed video demonstrating the drill to the user. There are 3 drills for each sport. Sports included are walking, basketball, hockey and soccer. Users can use their stars to upgrade their avatar. The more activity the more stars!

SECONDARY SCHOOL WINNERS

HopIn!, Warners Bay High School, Warners Bay, New South Wales

HopIn! Is a car-pooling app allowing people to register their car trip and let people who are travelling in the same direction hop in, for a contribution towards the driver’s travel expenses. Unlike taxis and Ubers, HopIn! cuts down on carbon emissions by preventing additional cars on the road. HopIn! is for people who care about the environment. HopIn! is helping to save the planet, one ride at a time.

SECONDARY SCHOOL REGIONAL WINNERS

AVO (Awesome Vibes Online), St Joseph’s Catholic College, Lochinvar, New South Wales

AVO (Awesome Vibes Online), is an app providing a medium to educate people about safety online while also acting as a platform for members of the public to report potential online threats to others’ wellbeing. This app is necessary so that parents, teachers and children are aware of the online threats that exist for their children and students, such as cyberbullying, inappropriate sexual and violent content, grooming, and unsafe viral social media trends. The app also uses data analysis to raise awareness of these threats before they cause harm. Avo is unique because it is preventative, stopping the threat before it impacts on a young individual’s health. The app is also multifaceted as it meets the issue head-on with a variety of education and engaging online tools.

SECONDARY SCHOOL HIGH COMMENDATION

COu - Santa Sabina College Strathfield, Sydney, New South Wales

The app COu aims to educate and promote environmental change. It is targeted towards Australian high school students through the focus on the current climate crisis affecting their future world. The core of the app is the eco-challenge which allows users to track their carbon emissions and aim to lower them individually or in a group comprised of other app users. Users have the opportunity to empathise and understand how people in our neighbouring nation, Kiribati, are affected by our fossil fuel addiction. The overall concept of COu is that any change begins with you, but can grow exponentially when powerful motivation teams with an arsenal of knowledge.

PRIMARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Anger Switch, Citipointe Christian College, Brisbane, Queensland

War Stoppers developed an app ‘Anger Switch’ directed to primary aged boys and girls. The aim of the app is to help young children identify when they are angry and help bring peace, in a fun way, to children. ‘Anger Switch’ uses calming colours, such as pale blue and violet and includes a description of anger, a fun maze and happy music to bring a sense of calmness. Our app has an image recogniser that is sure to bring a good laugh to you and your friends! Through ‘Anger Switch’, children will be supported along the way to making new friends.

PRIMARY SCHOOL REGIONAL WINNERS

#familycommunic8, Golden Beach State School, Golden Beach, Queensland

#familycommunic8 helps divorced or separated families communicate with each other. It is designed to share concerning organisational information to make life less stressful and make it easier for all involved to know what is going on with pick up and drop offs, keeping both families up to date with current information, important events and appointments. #familycommunic8 has a shared calendar that children and parents can easily access.

Games are included to encourage and hopefully mend parent/child relationships. Parents can communicate too, through a note page where a parent can share with the other parent important information about children and making transitions between households run smoothly. Parents and children can talk online plus children can chat to other children who are experiencing similar situations.

PRIMARY SCHOOL HIGH COMMENDATION

Cyberbullying - Back In Control, Windsor State School, Brisbane, Queensland

“Cyber Bullying – Back in Control” is aimed at teenagers (mainly 13-18 year olds) who are being bullied, specifically online, but the app could help in all cases of bullying. It has 6 features including chatting to a counsellor, a calming music section to help you relax, resources and links to counselling services and instructions on how to report a bully. All of these features provide information to empower young teens and gives them strategies to forget what is making them sad and help ignore any rude comments they may have received. Our app centralises all of the necessary and relevant information from the internet, making it easy to use and navigate.


SECONDARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Harvest Cook Create, St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School, Corinda, Queensland

'Harvest, Cook, Create' will help small food producers thrive by providing a marketplace that connects them with buyers in their local community. It will allow producers to sell anything from veggies or fruit to homemade gluten-free cookies. Buyers will benefit because they can purchase food that is ethical, locally sourced and unprocessed. Whilst many food producers have an online shop-front, ‘Harvest, Cook, Create’ will be a “one-stop-shop” for producers and consumers.

SECONDARY SCHOOL HIGH COMMENDATION

Right Now Refugee - Cannon Hill Anglican College, Cannon Hill, Queensland

The app ‘Right Now Refugee’ has been designed to ensure that when refugees relocate to a new country, they feel welcome and informed about daily life. The app covers basic information on laws, visas, health, education, transport, housing, asylum support, common greetings, cultural events, financial support and translation support. Our prototype focuses on refugees and immigrants coming from Iraq and moving to Australia. Although, this app could be used by any immigrant specifically from non-English speaking countries to an English-speaking-country. Our app is unique as it brings together many different fields of information that immigrants need in one easy, accessible app.

PRIMARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Confidence Coach, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Ulverstone, Tasmania

Confidence Coach is an app designed to help kids who lack self-confidence. The app features activities designed to build self-confidence.  Activities such as cooking, outdoors/gardening, physical activities and meditation. The app is targeted towards kids, tweens, teens and young adults.

PRIMARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Divorce Support, Woodcroft College, Morphett Vale, South Australia

Divorce Support is an app to support kids with divorced parents.  The app is designed to offer people help with their feelings in relation to their parents’ divorce. The app features a quote of the day to make people feel happy, offers links to support lines, as well as useful articles to ensure the user doesn’t feel alone in their situation.  The app is aimed to support tweens in dealing with what can be a very emotional experience.

SECONDARY SCHOOL WINNERS

Bin It Right, St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School, Karrinyup, Western Australia

Bin It Right aims to solve the problem of improper waste disposal with its unique photo recognition feature. This feature allows users to simply take a photo of the item they are unsure what bin it belongs in. The app then scans the image and indicates whether the item belongs in the green waste, waste or recycling bin. Bin It Right is designed for anybody having trouble determining where to put their rubbish and anyone looking for a quick and convenient solution.

GAME CHANGER AWARD

This award is chosen by the TGMF as the app that is believed will make the most impact in the community

Breakthrough, St Clare’s College, Waverley, New South Wales

Breakthrough is an employment education app targeted specifically for teens looking for jobs. Providing education for teenagers that are preparing for a job or who are struggling to manage the workload of having a job, Breakthrough is an innovative and informative solution to the growing job demand for teens. Breakthrough is helping to make teens confident in themselves while also helping them expand their workplace capability. With information like how to create a resume, plan for an interview, manage a payslip and tons more, Breakthrough is the free answer to teenager employment education and is an app made by teens, for teens.

National Winners









2019 VICTORIAN STATE WINNERS

2019 NSW STATE WINNERS

2019 QLD STATE WINNERS








2019 TASMANIAN STATE WINNERS

2019 SA STATE WINNERS

2019 WA STATE WINNERS

2019 TGMF AWARDS

Integrating the Outsider - creating a culture of inclusivity @AVIXIA #techgirls #STEM

Letter to Tech Girls Are Superheroes from a participant at AVIXIA / Integrate Conference Melbourne

This week I attended the integrate AV Expo. I came to this experience as an outsider. I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea why I was there, to be honest. My background is psychology. I am disabled. And I am female. I know from my life experience, that technology rarely considers how to integrate women and the disabled. But this week’s expo changed my views on that.

Firstly, as an outsider, don’t be fooled by the ‘AV’ (audio visual) in integrate ‘AV’ expo—there was some stunning AV, but this expo captures something more. Integrate explores the borderlands of where people and technology meet thus, giving us a window into the future of this industry. It was a week ripe with inspiration and opportunity for anyone from any background… so long as you weren’t a woman.

Don’t think being a female in this industry is a disadvantage? Ask me how many times I was asked to “Get us a coffee will ya, love?” at integrate. Ask me how many times I was asked where my husband was? Ask me how many times I was looked over in the integrate Q and A sessions? Then look at the figures for how many women are in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field, and how much they get paid when compared to their male colleagues. Women are significantly disadvantaged in the STEM field when compared to men. Not only are we under-represented, our experiences in the field, whether on worksites or presentation podiums, are often discouraging.

However, the tide of sexism is turning. Not only did Integrate put on another flawless and exciting expo displaying future trends of our industry, they are actively working to reduce the gender gap in STEM. Their partners in this venture are CEDIA and AVIXA. Both are authorities in AV industry. Both provide training and certification in this industry. Both are bound by a code of ethics that includes inclusivity.

Tech Girls are Superheroes (TGAS) is an organization that works to engage girls in STEM. AVIXA invited the founder of TGS, Doctor Jenine Beekhuyzen, to speak at the women’s breakfast. Dr Beekhuyzen was deeply inspiring in both her energy and her words. The work TGS is doing, and the impact that TGS is having worldwide, promises a bright future for women in technology. Indeed, many of the women at the breakfast were visibly moved by Dr Beekhuyzen’s words. The room was lit up with hope. As coffee flowed, so did the excited hum of women connecting and energizing each other.

The power of recognition and connection can never be overestimated. It is incredibly powerful and revitalizing to be in a room amongst people who are navigating the same challenges that you are. AVIXA’s Women’s Breakfast was no different. Even just sitting among these women was inspiring. As I reached out and spoke to various members and listened to their stories of hardships and successes, I was reminded the tide of sexism is slowly turning. Women are out there in the industry, working in any number of roles, achieving and succeeding. This progress is in part thanks to organizations like TGAS, AVIXA, and CEDIA. Not only because they are lobbying for greater equality and equity, but they also understand the importance of simply bringing women together.

 When Dr Beekhuyzen invited the room to get involved with TGS and work as mentors, the whole room surged forward. Everyone was eager to help in any way they could. In response to Dr Beekhuyzen’s leadership, the whole room was ready to lift up other women up, to smash through the binds of patriarchy, and show young girls that if they can dream it, they can do it. Connection is our key to the future.

Integrate is a fabulous opportunity for industry and industry partners to come together to explore the cutting edge of our industry. Through forging these new partnerships, we will bear the technology of the future. And while gender is still a pressing issue, it was heartening to see it being tackled head-on by someone such as Dr Beekhuyzen as supported by integrate. Both are courageous and necessary leaders in the field, and both understand the importance of bringing likeminded people together, even us outsiders, because in these collaborative spaces that the magic of change happens.

Announcing the #Victorian Winners in the 2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition @Xero #techgirls #STEM #entrepreneurship #SNTGS

TECH GIRLS ARE SUPERHEROES 2019 

VICTORIAN SHOWCASE

Announcement of Victorian Finalists & Winners

2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition

Melbourne, Victoria, August 2019 - The Tech Girls Movement Foundation (TGMF) announced the Victorian Finalists and winners at the Victorian Showcase for the 2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition.  The Showcase was hosted by TGMF’s long-time Strategic Partner Xero at their office in Melbourne.  

TGMF run a successful STEM Entrepreneurship program called ‘Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero’ (SNTGS).  Teams of girls aged 7-17 across Australia and New Zealand identify a problem in their local community, research it, develop a business plan, design an app, code an app prototype, and pitch it to leaders from the Australian STEM industry.  The winning teams are then invited to travel to the Silicon Valley to pitch their ideas to top technology execs & engineers. The competition is in its 6th year and is on track to have 10 000 girls through our STEM Entrepreneurship program by 2020.

Congratulations to our Victorian State Winners Team Hamilton Hustle.  5 tech girls from Salesian College in Sunbury with their app Codie. Their app helps children develop positive coping strategies through a gender-neutral character.  The team is obviously very passionate about improving well-being. Check Codie out here: https://youtu.be/x6VL2Lz0YeA

Our highly commended award went to The Killester Innovators.  A team of 5 girls from Killester College, Springvale with their app KC’s Food Aid.  An app connecting restaurants with surplus food with homeless shelters in Victoria. This team presented a very innovative idea, with brilliant graphics.  You can view their pitch video here: https://youtu.be/O8-cVxKlp7c

Congratulations to our VIC regional winner HealthSpot - a solo effort from Nina from Emmanuel College in Warrnambool. The topic of supporting children’s mental health is a very important one. You can see Nina’s app in action here: https://youtu.be/Jtfm6rilwzI

The Victorian Showcase was not only an opportunity to celebrate our tech girls teams but also a chance to thank and celebrate our awesome female STEM industry mentors and coaches who helped guide the teams through the 12-week program.

Special thanks to Jacqueline Tate from Coder Academy for ensuring all the tech girls and their father’s made awesome wearable superhero masks to take home with them for Father’s Day. 

Founder & CEO of the TGMF Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen; “Our research tells us that 78% of students who have participated in SNTGS are more likely to consider a career in STEM, and 69.5% of them are more likely to start their own business after completing our program.  These figures are significant, and we are passionate about encouraging more girls to get into STEM because our nation’s future as a tech leader depends on finding pathways to rebalance gender participation in this critical field! Why? Because we all think differently, and we all have a part to play in solving problems using technology. And that means everyone!”

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“This year teams from Victoria have worked hard in defining a problem that has a purpose for them.  Problems such as mental health, recycling, food waste, feeding the homeless and mindfulness. It just shows we cannot discount the contribution our young tech girls can make to ensuring the diversity of STEM industries”.  

James O’Reilly, Global Head of Talent for Xero; “Working in tech provides the opportunity for individuals to use their creativity to solve real world problems in so many shapes and forms.  Xero continues to support the Tech Girl Movement; a small but mighty group who are breaking down barriers and creating 'lightbulb moments' for young females regarding careers in STEM.”

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To get involved in the Tech Girls Movement Foundation, or the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition please contact the Tech Girls Movement Foundation.

https://searchforthenexttechgirlsuperhero.org/

https://www.techgirlsmovement.org/







University of Technology Sydney (UTS) - Women in Engineering and IT Scholarships - Apply now!

WiEIT

(Women in Engineering and IT)

UTS Women in Engineering and IT (WiEIT) Program fosters a network of passionate females and males who are actively involved in the development of our next generation of young engineering and IT professionals.

We’re delighted to share that they offer two scholarships - the Cooperative Scholarship (4 years) and the Faculty of Engineering and IT Scholarship (1 year) to women to study Engineering and IT at UTS.

There are 20 scholarships available for the Faculty of Engineering and IT Scholarship, which is really exciting for us tech girls!

Application process:
You can apply using the online application form at wieit.uts.edu.au

For more information, download the UTS WiEIT Scholarship flyer.

Day 5 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA #techgirls #STEM

Lego, cupcakes, and rainbows!

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Hellooooo Orla, Rebecca and Chris from Rubrik!

Rubrik

So awesome to see you again and this time at Rubrik HQ in Palo Alto. We had so much fun at our last event in Sydney at UTS a few months ago coding chatbots with our Tech Girls. 

And what a visit! Thank you so much for the generous 12-month subscription to CodaKid for all 11 students across our three teams to keep coding with game design, and the Lego robotics kits that the teams can take back to their schools. Not to mention the unique opportunity and time with your CEO and co-founder, Bipul, who shared great advice for the teams around considering the ‘triggers for first use’ for their apps – seasoned Silicon Valley advice from a venture capitalist, startup founder and CEO.

John and Julia from the Marketing team shared fantastic feedback for each of their teams on their marketing approaches and pitch videos. Such valuable insights around how critical it is to think about who might have the problem that you’re trying to solve, to create an emotional connection with your buyer, and that you are always competing for your user’s attention. Sharing the ‘Backup Things’ ad that your team created really showed us why keeping messaging short and simple matters, and that telling stories in a different way is far more impactful than just telling facts. And to be authentic: so fun to see Rebecca and Chris on screen in the ad! And Chris in a dress! We loved it.

Such a diverse range of women from across Rubrik for the panel discussion - there were nearly more of them than our tech girls which was amazing! We learnt about journeys and advice from legal to sales, tech dev, finance and business and product management. Most importantly, we learnt how important it is to have good people around you, be challenged to learn and grow, and to believe and advocate for yourself. So many happy surprises at the Rubrik visit, the Rubrik’s team authenticity, effort and attention to detail really made our visit fantastic and we felt very special and looked after. Customised cupcakes with the Tech Girls Superheroes’ team logos, t-shirts for the girls, the interactive Lego build activity, and the Rubrik Lego minifigure HEART.

Rainbow Mansion

Then what a wonderfully homely surprise to end our last day, by venturing up the hill along the curiously named Rainbow Drive. Could there be a pot of gold at the end? Almost! The houses get bigger and bigger as we head up the hill to the… Rainbow Mansion! Imagine a house full of Silicon Valley young professionals working at companies such as Google X, Parc, Google Daydream, iRhythm and the NASA Ames Research Centre – where the tech is so out there (science fiction like!) that they can’t really tell us what they’re working on - yow!!! Great to hear about the journeys of how the residents came to Silicon Valley, and what it’s like to live in a sharehouse bursting with ideas, brainpower, and a lively community (with pizza!).

This is definitely the ultimate sharehouse hang, with a makerspace in the garage (thanks for sharing your inventions with us Jeremy!), regular tech talks and Sunday community dinners. And just for our visit today, the NASA engineering crew setup an impromptu display about the next Mars helicopters currently in development to show our tech girls first hand! We were so excited to not only see the future in Mars exploration right in front of us, talking directly to the engineering team working on it and the wind tunnel simulation, we crossed our fingers and toes for their successful mission in July 2020. Minds blown!

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Thanks so much to Alex, Jamie, Jeremy, Crystal and Witold and the NASA team for sharing your home and stories with us – parting words of wisdom from our host Alex to our Tech Girls: “Don’t think about what you want to do, but what you want to try.” So what are the 3 things that you’d been putting off or want to try??

The end of Friday evening fast approaches and we don’t want to leave… but alas, even Superheroes have to go back to school and work. A big thank you to all of our hosts this week across the Valley and Bay area, we’ve had an amazing week of inspiration, hearing your stories and journeys, taking on super insightful advice and feedback, and seeing tech that seems beyond this world. Watching our tech girls grow so much in such a short amount of time, being amazing ambassadors for not only us but for STEM and entrepreneurship in Australia, we could not be prouder of their professionalism, hard work and enthusiasm on the trip and beyond.

Although this is a wrap for the Tech Girls tour of Silicon Valley for 2019, we’ve already started conversations on visits and new sights for next year – stay tuned for info on the 2020 competition! Winners of the 2019 competition to be announced at our showcase events. Dont miss out and book your tickets now.

A huge thank you to Technology One for sponsoring our trip, and to Stockland and the many other sponsors who helped teams fund their way to the USA - for a trip of a lifetime.

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Day 4-2 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA #techgirls STEM

Tech innovation and inspiration from around the globe, this is Technovation!

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A global parade of flags waving proudly, young changemakers taking the stage, and app ideas that will change our world. This is the global Technovation final: six teams of young women from across the world, aged 10-18, pitching their app solutions to take on some of the biggest challenges that humanity faces. Words won’t be able to properly capture the events and experiences of the evening, but we will try!

It is heartbreaking to see that we have common challenges concerning young people regardless of geographical borders, such as domestic violence, mental illness and environmental sustainability. But, these young women are taking on some of these biggest challenges that we have created by our past actions and inactions, and they have developed technologies that will change our future.

 What are these big challenges and ideas on the world stage tonight? A donation platform to help send kids to school in Nigeria, preserving the Cambodian cultural heritage of Khmer poetry through an education portal, connecting children with social anxiety to support and help, pairing social work interns with non-profit organisations in underserved communities in India, creating a virtual community in Bolivia for reuse and recycling of what might be trash to you but treasure to another, and detecting opioid addiction using image processing techniques in collaboration with leading US universities and medical research institutes. Mind-blowingly wow, right?? But this is just the junior finalists aged 10-14!

What are the seniors up to? The CoCo team from Kazakhstan shared with us how to live eco-friendly lifestyles through a 3D mobile game with augmented reality, D3C0ders from Albania are helping to connect women facing domestic violence to help, support and employment opportunities, When&Where is a emergency response app to keep women safe in Spain, using a powerful metaphor of drops of water and a ‘glass of blue feelings’ to help prevent youth suicide in Brazil, applying machine learning to identify noxious and invasive weeds affecting farmers in California, and connecting children at orphanages to seniors to aged care homes for improving inter-generational social and mental well-being in India.

So, who are the winners of the Technovation competition this year? We don’t at all envy the judges in having to choose a winner and runner up in each division! As the judges deliberate, we hear from Justine Sass, UNESCO Chief of the Section of Education for Inclusion and Gender Equality, who has flown all the way from Paris to share with us the critical role the gender equity plays in global innovation, change and leadership – and the need for STEM education as part of girls and women’s empowerment. Gender equality affects us all, and we all play a part in this change. Very much yes indeed, and our Tech Girls team reflects on who we should be reaching, but haven’t yet?

Judging decisions are made, and the Indian and Cambodian teams take 1st and 2nd in the junior division, with Albania and the US taking the 1st and 2nd awards for the senior division. Congratulations and cheers to all the teams! Our Tech Girls Superheroes mingle and chat to their competition peers around the world, sharing ideas and inspiration. In reality, all of the teams participating globally are winners by bringing about local change in their communities with global impact - putting into action the saying of ‘think global, act local’! We can’t wait to see what pathways these young women will take in the future, but they will no doubt they’ll be back on world stages again soon. This is just the start, and it does make us think back to what we were doing when we were in school… how what amazing role models these young women will be when they join their peers back home. Our future looks very bright indeed!

Official Technovation website announcement

Day 4 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA #techgirls #STEM

“There is a moment each morning that defines the rest of your day”

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Empathise. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test. What better place to dive into design thinking than in Silicon Valley, where it all started at the Stanford d.school! Thanks to Nutanix for hosting our visit and facilitating a fun design thinking workshop – in two hours our teams came up with four innovations to help improve the start of a team member’s day (their target user): Smart Series, Sqeeze, HideyHoles and SpideyBot, and Belaska. What awesome product names, we definitely have innovators and entrepreneurs in the room! Waking up and getting ready in time to kickstart your day for school or work was the common challenge for all of our target users – how might you improve the start of your day? What small changes can you make?

Speaking of the power of small changes: “Knock knock. Who’s there? The consequences of your past decisions!” Oh, yep, hmmm…! There is a James Clear leadership seminar at Nutanix, would we like to join??? OMG. YESSSSS. What an opportunity! Thank you Michele from Nutanix for making this happen! Atomic Habits is the New York Times bestseller book from James, about how small changes can bring about big results and how to build good habits and break bad ones. The cost of our bad habits is in the future, so what can we do now?

So many notes and learnings from this talk, our Tech Girl Superheroes shared their main takeaways as:

  • How important your physical and social environments are as key drivers of habit

  • The 2-minute rule: breaking down an end goal into small chunks that take less than 2 minutes each to achieve. Habit must be established before it can be improved (so very true!)

  • Keeping a habit journal: noting down daily when you keep to a habit, and try not to break the chain of days. Even if you miss one day, don’t make it two!

Where to start - small?

“Every action we take is a vote for the person you wish to become” – what is the small change that you will make today?

Day 3 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA

“Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre man!”

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Can you imagine this as part of your work day, where you can drop in whenever you like to a gaming room with pinball machines and arcade games, an ice cream shop, spa, bike mechanic, and too many café and restaurant options to count! The Facebook campus is impressive, yet sculptures and signs from the original Facebook office remind and connect us to the company’s origins as a tiny startup. So much has happened in such a short period of time: the Facebook family now also includes Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus Rift!

The importance of mentors came up again today at Facebook, as mentors can give you the tough feedback that you’re blinded to. And don’t forget the importance of finding a ‘safe space’ person to talk to too, this can be a teacher, coach, friend, or family member. It reminded us that the people around us have a huge influence on us, which poses the question - how we do surround ourselves with positive influencers?

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We then visited Ebay and saw their map of sales in real time. So cool! Our Tech Girls teams received some great feedback from both Facebook and Ebay after they pitched - that “success is never a one stop effort and trying things that don’t quite work out is totally ok. For developing apps and tech, talking to users to understand what they need is critical to solving the problem that they have (not the problem that you want to solve or think they have)”. Another approach is to find people who want what you are thinking to develop, before you develop it!

So what do Facebookers and Ebayers wish they knew when you were younger?

“Be bold. Take risks. If you have a good idea, go for it!”

“Don’t underestimate yourself. Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre man!”

“Show interest in the things you like. You can build a career around your hobbies, incorporate a job into your hobby.”

“It’s ok not to have it all figured out. Elevate your voice: you should and do have a seat a table.”

Back to finding our positive influencers, let’s start with thinking about what ‘product features’ you want to add to your life, and who should be on your personal board of directors. Think and ask today!

P.S. Have you met our superhero rally car driver chaperone? Jackie, from our Blue Buddy team at St. Aidans’ has mixed with the British royals and knows her way around cars. You go, Jackie!

Day 2 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA

Words of wisdom from Googlers… and a rally car driver!

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Hello Rowena, Adam, Alice, Marissa, Kara, Rama and Roshni at Google! Hearing about your journeys and pathways really showed us how much pursuing what you believe in, and care about, matters. Powerful insights from our panel: Alice - a fresh CS grad who joined Google a few months ago, Marissa - an undergraduate intern in her last year of studies, Rama - PhD student intern in hardware development, Kara – who pivoted from her arts background and taught herself coding, and Roshni – who started in coding young and now works on Waymo! What a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, we so wish we had heard this advice when we were in school, so en pointe!

“Don’t let anything stop you doing what you want to do.”

“Embrace failure! Celebrate failure! Learn from failures and try again, never be afraid of failure.”

“Don’t be intimidated by the people around you – it’s not just about being smart but effort matters too.”

“Starting something new, you might feel like you’re behind but this is ok and you will catch up!”

“Don’t use the word lucky: you earned your place here!”

“In discouraging environments, push through and find the people like you.”

“You can pivot anytime, you’ll be ok!”

So many takeaways from today, and more learnings in the discussion about mentoring and sponsorship: what’s the difference, you ask? In Australia, sponsorship (or champions) isn’t as well-known an activity as mentoring. You might have a few mentors to help guide you and your career with advice, but sponsors create and put you forward for opportunities – a career champion, if you will! Having both really gives your studies and career a push forward, and it’s never too early to ask and start!

Today’s fun fact:

“I was one of the top rally car drivers in the UK. In under 30 seconds, I can change a tire.”

Which one of our Tech Girls team chaperones said this? Superheroes all round! Tune in tomorrow to find out…

Day 0 + 1 - 2019 Tech Girls Movement Official Ambassador Tour of Silicon Valley, USA

Follow the adventures of P-Cubed, Domestic Angels, and Blue Buddy as they embark on their adventure in the Silicon Valley!

Day 0 - Tech Girls Tour of Silicon Valley

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It’s ice-cream time with the seals and superheroes at Pier 39 – we in the Tech Girls Movement Foundation team so excited to meet the teams today! The red hoodies are a fantastic idea – the team stands out amongst the crowd in our brightly matching Tech Girls gear. Great to meet everyone before our industry visits and tour around San Francisco (SF) and Silicon Valley kicks off tomorrow – so much energy, enthusiasm and excitement!

Today’s takeaway: Yes, we’re goingggg to San Frannnnciscooo… !!! (For those of you too young to know the song, here’s a link)

Day 1: Trailblazers, Igloos and an VISITING AN Aussie startup in SF!

Hearing about the Salesforce Ohana

Hearing about the Salesforce Ohana

What a day! Business for social good, IoT (Internet of Things) in retail experiences, smart materials, an Australian startup in SF, and more! Three inspiring visits today kicked off with breakfast at Salesforce right in downtown SF. Hearing about the Salesforce ‘Ohana’ (Hawaiian for ‘family’) a workplace culture that is built around people, celebrating our diversity and supporting each other. What a view from the 61st ‘Ohana’ floor! 360 walk-around panorama of San Francisco – wow. Definitely a tech tourist moment, we can’t imagine what it would be like to be able to hang out here every day at work!!

Equality = Innovation at Accenture

Equality = Innovation at Accenture

Down a few floors in the Salesforce Tower to the Accenture Innovation Hub – such a warm welcome with Tech Girls Are Superheroes signs throughout the lobby, and our own branded tech girls cookies for afternoon tea – thank you so much to our hosts! What a whirlwind tour seeing emerging technologies (almost like science fiction!) applied to solve real-world challenges – excited to see what future retail with IoT might look like, materials that have ‘shape memory’ for soft robotics, and 360 wrap-around screens for immersive experiences with multimedia storytelling (‘The Igloo’). Lots of whiteboards, post-it notes, and design prototypes throughout!

The girls pitching their app.

The girls pitching their app.

A friendly and chill startup vibe with Skedulo shared the journey of an Australian startup making it big in SF – hard to quantify into words how you can feel and see the mix of Australian culture in the company, their office and how they work – go Aussies! You can’t go wrong when there is the company dog welcome to roam around the office for pats and cuddles, and pizzas for snacks too! Great informal networking session with the Skedulo team – such a diverse and friendly team - looking forward to connecting with the local team when we’re back home.

An atmosphere of opportunity and ‘giving it a go’ are abounds here – well done to the girls for excellent pitches during all three visits today! Fantastic feedback on the pitches and apps from our hosts, such attention to detail with the teams showing their app prototypes and carefully handmade gifts for our hosts.

Google! Tomorrow! Yesssss.

Today’s takeaways: a panel discussion that raised ‘being comfortable with being uncomfortable’ and ‘being your authentic self’ (you don’t need a tech background to work in tech!), and that an idea that was built into a tech platform in a room above a Brisbane garage is now a startup outgrowing its offices in SF with Series B funding just raised – you can do it too!

#hopperdownunder - Inaugural Australian Grace Hopper Celebration in Brisbane was an incredible inspiration #GHC @anitab #techgirls #STEM

Last week we had the absolute pleasure of participating in the inaugural Hopper Down Under conference which is an instance of the hugely successful Grace Hopper Celebration of Women annual event in the USA attended by 17 000 technical women now each year. Hopper Down Under attracted 700 tech go-getters to this 2-day event.

The keynotes were especially outstanding, with Dr Sue Black, who saved Bletchley Park where 8000+ women worked in tech in WW2, and Prof Lisa Harvey-Smith giving us hope for the next 10 years of women in STEM in Australia with the Decadel Plan. Dr Genevieve Bell from ANU gave us hope for the future by looking at our past, not so distant history.

We presented a poster on preparing teachers for our digital futures with leaders in the field of STEM and education in Australia, and we presented a poster with our colleagues at UTS on (download here on STEM x play) and we were fortunate to chair 2 amazing sessions - one on e-textiles and technology for blind children, and another by the Girls Programming Network on how to run a great girls in tech event.

Congrats to the team - and to the community, for making this VIP event happen.

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Announcing prizes for the Australian #SNTGS National Winners by @Stockland #techgirls @STEM

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The Tech Girls Movement Foundation (TGMF) is pleased to announce the valued support of Stockland, who in 2019 are providing the Prize Money for the Australian National Secondary & Primary School Winners in the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition.

Stockland will provide $1000 to the Winning National Secondary School and $500 to the Winning National Primary School Teams. This continues a strong supportive relationship between Stockland and the TGMF.

Founder & CEO of the TGMF Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen; “We are grateful for Stockland’s ongoing support of TGMF initiatives & programs, in particular the provision of prize money for our hardworking National winning teams in the 2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition”.

Robyn Elliott, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer of Stockland; “We really do love contributing to a cause which has such a widespread impact. Not only are we rewarding these tech girls for their hard work during the competition we are also paying back to the community, through supporting the innovative app that the girls have developed.”

“We get an enormous amount out of our contribution to the Tech Girls Movement and the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero (SNTGS) Competition. This year we have also contributed $10000 to support last year’s National Secondary School winners ‘Domestic Angels’ from Gladstone to get them to the USA in August to visit and pitch to top tech companies such as Ebay, Google, Accenture, Salesforce and Rubrik in Silicon Valley. With our financial support the 2018 winning team from Gladstone, our very first regional winner will be able to join our fourth Tech Girls Movement Foundation Official Ambassador Tour in 2019.”

The Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition is a 12-week STEM entrepreneurship program, where girls aged between 7-17 collaborate efforts in a team and identify a problem within their local community that they would like to solve. They then research the problem, develop a business plan, and build an app that creates a unique means of helping to alleviate the local community problem. Many apps go on to be developed further and to be sold in the various app stores.

To get involved, or to donate prizes to the 2019 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition, contact us.

A Hack Day at Technology One @technologyonecorp #techgirls #STEM

Last weekend, Technology One and the Tech Girls Movement Foundation hosted local Brisbane #techgirls and their mentors for a Hack Day at T1 HQ. The teams spent the day working on their app building and business plans with guidance from super mentors at Technology One.

The day was enjoyed by all - summed up by teacher and repeat tech girls coach Alison Jones from Craigslea State School:
"The girls were so excited. It was a really great afternoon. The girls got to talk to mentors. We met ours for the first time. We watched pitched videos from other schools and then reflected on what makes a good pitch video and what they want to include in their own. There were green screens set up so the girls got to practice reading and performing with a script. We came away energised, motivated and enthused to continue on our own tech girls journeys. Personally I found it helpful having to trouble shoot some technical issues I was having. I got some good advice from other Technology One Super-Mentors. We are all super pumped to get stuck into working on our deliverables.”

We also loved seeing this Facebook post by Good Shepherd Lutheran College:

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It’s clear all teams and their mentors had a fabulous day and took away so much from the experience. Thank you Technology One for supporting #techgirls!

Building a chat bot with Rubrik and UTS

Last weekend, Tech Girls Movement Foundation with Rubrik and UTS, hosted a two hour workshop for local tech girls to learn how to build a chat bot. Rubrik flew their Principal Technologist, Rebecca Fitzhugh, who is based in the Silicon Valley, over to Sydney for the workshop.

Rebecca is heavily involved in getting more women and girls into STEM. Her background is extremely interesting, having started in the US Marine Corps where she specialized in cryptographic systems and eventually managed a Force level data center that provided services to the entire Pacific fleet.

The girls had a fantastic time! Here are some quotes from the event:

Sienna said "It was great, and loved learning about a chatbot. I know what it is now. It was good to meet other girls in the competition too."

Sienna’s mum said "Great to see organisations like Rubrik getting on board and supporting young girls in STEM. UTS Women in Engineering was a perfect location. Industry tech organisations are starting to realise that the future work generation are some of these young girls, and we need to engage early. Given the opportunity to try something new, the girls rise to the challenge. My daughter didn't know what a chatbot was before the workshop and I didn't tell her either, she does now. It was also great to see her answering questions and going up the front to engage with people she didn't know. Rebecca was really great with the girls and showed us how tech can be cool.”

Hugues, a parent at the event said “My daughter loved the event. When someone asked her if she liked the session she replied ‘Are you kidding? I was able to spend 2 hours on the computer doing cool stuff!

We were also thrilled to see this post by Orla Hanby, Head of Marketing, ANZ for Rubrik, on LinkedIn:

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And finally, we’d like to share Chris Wahl’s blog post, which moved us immensely, and made our eyes malfunction. Chris Wahl is Chief Technologist at Rubrik in the Silicon Valley.

A huge thank you to Rebecca, Chris, Orla, Rubrik, and UTS - you made a huge impact on our #techgirls.


NZ Tech Week - hosted by the Australian High Commission in Wellington

Jewella (Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen) was invited by the Australian High Commission in New Zealand to head across to Wellington for NZ Tech week.

The aim of NZ Tech Week is described on their website as:

New Zealand’s technology and innovation sectors are growing rapidly, and Techweek fosters that growth by providing the national ecosystem with a week-long opportunity for connection and cross-pollination, using an independent platform to amplify New Zealand’s unique and inspiring innovation stories to the world.

Dr. Beekhuyzen hosted a 2-hour hands-on STEM Entrepreneurship workshop for 60 face-to-face participants, plus another 600 students tuned in online. Our podcast will be available on our social media soon!

The highlight of the event was a panel discussion (which was live streamed on Facebook) with Jewella, Aliesha Staples (Founder of Staples VR) and Lena Scanlan (Visual Effects Producer at Weta Digital) to showcase our innovative Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero program.

Some memorable quotes from the panel discussion were:

“We need to talk more, we need to network more and promote each other’s work!” - Aliesha Staples

“Attitude and putting yourself in the right place at the right time is huge” - Aliesha Staples on getting girls ready for a career in tech.

“We need to tech girls to be confident, to believe that they deserve everything that the boys get.” - Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen

“We need to learn how to fail.” - Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen on how we need to break the technology

“Call people out on their behaviour. Tech can be very male dominated. Make everyone feel like the have a voice.” - Lena Scanlan

“Everyone is making it up so you just have to give it a go.” - Dr. Jenine Beekheyzen

You can watch the panel discussion the Facebook page of the Australian High Commission in Wellington.

Jewella represents Australia in Chengdu, China #techgirls #STEM

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Tech Girls goes to China

to talk about how we’re supporting #techgirls in #STEM in Australia

On May 17 to 19, our Founder & CEO Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen attended the ACM Global Computing Education Conference (CompEd), 2019 in Chengdu, China as an Australian Ambassador for the ACM-W network.

The ACM-W is the Association for Computing Machinery - Women in Computing. ACM-W supports, celebrates, and advocates internationally for the full engagement of women in all aspects of the computing field, providing a wide range of programs and services to ACM members and working in the larger community to advance the contributions of technical women.

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Our Founder Dr Beekhuyzen, ran a workshop on Women in STEM at the Inaugural 2019 CompEd conference alongside former former ACM_W Australia Ambassadors Dr. Catherine Lang from La Trobe University, Dr Annemieke Craig from Deakin University, and Jacqueline Tate from Coder Academy. Our workshop showcased our innovative Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition, and we discussed fundraising with tips and hints for locals.

We bought together women in STEM from Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and China. We have been tasked with establishing an Asia Pacific ACM-W network of amazing people!

One big highlight of the trip was a visit to the Panda Research station! Seeing how pandas are bred and rehabilitated to return to the wild was inspiring.

A very successful trip for TGMF in Asia.

STEM + Entrepreneurship = Success #techgirls #STEM

- authored by Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, Founder & CEO Tech girls movement foundation

The signature Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero (SNTGS) competition and other TGMF initiatives are soundly based on international research into how best to encourage female participation in STEM-related careers and education. The TGMF has administered both pre and post-competition surveys for all participant groups (schoolgirls, mentors and coaches) for the past three years of the competition. The same survey with minor adjustments is administered each year. It consists of open and closed questions, drawn from three sources – an internationally recognised instrument for measuring STEM career interest (Kier et al. 2014), a survey carried out by Technovation, the organisation which provides the curriculum on which the competition is based (Rockman et al Research, Evaluation and Consulting, 2016), and the results of interviews carried out with 8 mentors from the 2015 competition.

In the Australian Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero (SNTGS) competition, school girls form teams and register on the TGMF website via a coach – a teacher or a parent who becomes the contact point for the team. One coach may have multiple teams. Each team is then matched with a female mentor working in STEM who commits to meeting the team virtually, or if co-located in person, for one hour per week for 12 weeks. Teams then brainstorm problems that bug them in their local community, from personal problems such as anxiety, mental health, wellbeing, healthy eating, to broader school issues such as lost property, or family issues such as “grandad can’t read” or wider issues such as sun safety or global warming.

Teams then research how others have tried to solve the problem around the world, and then they design their own solution to the problem through a business plan and a wireframe. Teams as young as 11 are building 50-page business plans. Once they have a wireframe and business plan they build the working prototype through free online software such as AppInventor. Then they develop a 4-minute pitch video to sell their idea, and a 3-minute demo video to exhibit how their app works.

METHOD

The post-competition surveys aim to evaluate the impact and success for student participants in the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition, specifically:

i. The impact of participation in the competition on girls’ self-perception and career perception in relation to STEM, and of their intentions to pursue further studies and careers in STEM-related fields. The evaluation is based on well-established research in this area.

ii. Students’ perceptions of the curriculum areas. The evaluation did not attempt to measure objective improvements in skills because of wide variations in curriculum, facilities and teacher practices.

iii. Issues, benefits and problems of participating in the competition.

In 2018, the demographics of the 191 respondents were very similar to those from 2017. Most of the girls live in Queensland (90) and New South Wales (50). Of the New Zealand schoolgirls represented in the 2018 survey more live on the South Island (10) as compared to 2017 results where more were from the North Island. Most students attend co-education schools (117) and are currently in grade 6 (48).

RESULTS

Several areas that showed improvement in 2018 were students’ time management, support from mentors and coaches, and satisfaction with teamwork.

Students are asked how much knowledge of coding they had before participating in the competition, most reported less than an adequate amount of knowledge of coding (Figure 1).

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Figure 1 - 2018 Students’ Previous Coding Knowledge

Although the students’ perceptions of their knowledge of coding in 2018 was reported to be similar to 2017, there was a substantial increase in their perceptions that participation in the competition had improved their knowledge of coding (from 58% to 85%).

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Figure 2 - 2018 Students’ Improvements in Coding Knowledge

The Curriculum

In relation to the curriculum, the Revenue lesson continues to be the least popular and students wished there had been more focus on coding, even though their perceived competency in coding increased substantially.

The biggest challenge reported was shortage of time.

The program consists of the following 12 lessons. Lesson 8 and 2 are the most popular and lesson 7 the least popular.

1: Introduction to the curriculum and meet your mentor

2: Defining the Issue

3: Brainstorming Solutions

4: User Centred Design

5: Competitive Analysis

6: Branding and Promotion

7: Potential Revenue

8: Pitch Guidelines

9: Demo Guidelines

10: User Feedback

11: Video Editing

12: Submission!

Student Support

Overall the support from schools, coaches and mentors is perceived as good, or satisfactory, and the students thought they worked well in teams. A small percentage reported that team members dropping out caused problems. Responses to the questions regarding attitudes to STEM showed similar improvement after participation to that of the 2017 survey. Some of the questions regarding career interest showed a small improvement over the 2017 results.

Motivation to participate in the competition

In 2017, 12 girls mentioned that their involvement in the competition was due to it being a part of their school curriculum; this was not mentioned in 2018. The most frequent responses in 2018 were; to learn about coding, to work with friends and solve problems, similar results to those of 2017. More students mentioned being encouraged to participate by friends and/or siblings who had previously participated in the competition.


Benefits gained from participation

Students gained a variety of benefits and experiences from their participation in the competition.

“The benefits that I have gained from participating in this competition have definitely been time management and organisation. Also developing new skills that I can apply to many other things such as my vocabulary, speaking on the spot, persuading, my writing skills and other larger topics I had no idea about, such as potential revenues and other elements within the business plan. Other benefits I have also gained from this competition are qualities such as commitment, trust, teamwork, prioritising and thinking about the bigger picture.”

The students’ motivations and expectations focused mostly on their desire to learn more about coding and to work in teams. In 2018 students were encouraged to participate in the competition through friends and/or siblings who had participated in a previous competition or knew someone who had.

OUTCOMES/CONCLUSION

While some respondents stated that they had always been interested in technology and their participation in the competition confirmed this interest (25), some now felt they were more likely to consider a science or technology career than before (22). Importantly, 26 responded that their confidence, awareness, knowledge or interest in technology had increased, but not necessarily relating to a direction in study.


“I believe from the competition our interest in technology is enhanced because of the amount of time and effort we put into using technologies. I believe the competition has made us more confident in starting a new business or designing and developing new ideas from technology. The experience was positive and worthwhile”.

“My mind was open to ideas, but the Tech Girls competition has pointed me in the direction of technology.”

“Tech girl superheroes has taught me that I can do whatever I want in the future ... this competition has influenced my life greatly and I have become a more confident, better person because of it.”

Last tickets - Yeppoon event this Sunday; #Rockhampton Monday is sold out #techgirls #STEM @officeforwomen #Entrago #STEM

This weekend us tech girls go north to Yeppoon in Livingston and to Rockhampton to run our fun workshops! We are super excited to bring our program to central queensland to celebrate the budding entrepreneurial talent!

Sponsored by the Office for Women Queensland, Inspiring Australia & Makers@Capricorn Coast, and Entrago.