What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)
Access to technology, Access to education/training, Access to economic opportunity.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The Technovation Challenge has introduced over 800 girls to computer science and entrepreneurship. Evaluations are conducted by an external evaluator.
This past year, 67% of girls said they would like to go on to learn another programming language and we saw a 40% increase in girls’ interest in studying computer science after completing the program. The number of girls who understand what a computer scientist does doubled, and the number of girls who said they knew how to write a computer program increased by 67%.
While the main goal of the program is to increase girls’ interest in the tech industry, the program impacts the female mentors as well. Results from the post-surveys found that the program offered the opportunity to engage girls in technology (95%), network with women working in technology (95%), increase their knowledge of entrepreneurship (83%), learn to be effective mentors (88%), and improve their technical skills (63%).
What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?
Our goal is to scale up 2x every year (which we have done since 2010) and engage 1,000 girls and 200 female mentors in 2013 and continue to scale-up until we reach 200,000 girls and thousands of mentors worldwide. In 2012, we ran programs that were hosted at technology sites (Google, Twitter, Adobe, and others) in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2013, we are changing to a clubs-based model (similar to FIRST Robotics) so that girls anywhere in the world can form a Technovation club at their high school or community group and use our online curriculum with their mentor. This will allow us to use technology to reach many more girls and mentors at a much lower cost.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Our goal of scaling up 2x per year is ambitious and requires funding, strategic partners, and volunteer mentors. The lack of any one of these key components is a barrier to success. We are creating a steering committee that will include corporate partners who have the same philosophy and similar values. We are expanding our development plan to include diverse funding sources. Finding mentors located in the same areas as our teams and who will commit for at least twelve weeks a year may be difficult. To recruit mentors, we are forming partnerships with companies and universities, hosting professional development events, and presenting at conferences. We are looking at various models to address the location issue, including using Google Hangouts for virtual mentorship.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Expand the current curriculum to 12 weeks and recruit 1,000 girls, 200 teachers, and 200 mentors internationally.
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
We will have launched the new international, clubs-based model and will be focusing on evaluation, retention, and dissemination.