Get started with Technovation Girls
In this lesson, you will...
- Review tips on how to get started – and complete – the Technovation Girls program
- Learn how to build your team
- Learn how to find a mentor
Build your team
Make your plans
Find your mentor
Other things to consider
Stay in the loop!
"The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them."
–Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel Peace Prize Winner and President of Liberia
Are you ready to learn how you can change the world with code? Through Technovation Girls, you’ll learn how to design and code your own mobile app and build a project using artificial intelligence.
What is code? Code is the way that people talk to computers, and make computers do different things! Code is everywhere—you probably use things that were made with code multiple times a day without even realizing it.
Below are some examples that computers are using code to do. What are some of the things you like that are created with code?
There are lots of fun things to do with code, but did you know that you can also help people with code? Here are some examples:
Healthcare that uses code to find patterns and assess a person’s needs
Assistive Devices that help people with disabilities access the world
Robots that can perform different tasks that help people
Women will continue to change the world with code.
Did you know that the history of computer science (or the study of computers) is filled with women coders? Below, you can learn about women who have had a deep impact on computer science.
Ada was an English mathematician and writer, chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. She lived a very long time ago in the 1850s.
Ada is often credited as being the first programmer ever because she wrote the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine! Today, we definitely use computers in ways that Ada envisioned. Ada paved the way for inventions that people enjoy all around the world.
Grace was the first person to compile, or translate, computer code into another language.
Computer code looks like this: 00011001111000. It is not easily understood by humans. Grace translated it into something we can understand like this: “print ‘hello world’”. Her inventions have allowed for the evolution of programming languages that are easy to use just like the one you will be learning with in Technovation Girls!
Annie was a computer scientist and mathematician who worked at NASA. She specialized in building rockets and researching different energy conversion systems.
The programs she developed have impacted many technologies today - including weather satellites!
“You're never too old, and if you want to, as my mother said, you can do anything you want to, but you have to work at it.”
What is artificial intelligence? Artificial Intelligence or AI is the ability for machines or robots to do tasks normally thought to be done only by humans. Because the human brain is so complex, it has been a difficult problem for computer scientists to solve - making a machine think like a human. But over the past 50 years, much progress has been made in this field of computer science.
AI exists all around you! It has become a part of our everyday life, so it’s important for you as a consumer of artificial intelligence to understand how it works and how it affects you. You might just be inspired enough to make AI an integral part of your Technovation project!
Below are some examples of AI in our lives. Can you think of other examples of AI in your life?
YouTube suggesting videos you might like to watch
Face recognition in Google images
"I have coded before, but never coded a real product that others could use."
–Technovation Alumna (2016)
Activity: Build your team
We’ve found that many girls like to participate in Technovation Girls with a team. Teams can have up to 5 girls, between the ages 10 to 18.
Here are some ways to get other girls to join your team!
- Set up a table at your school to share information about Technovation Girls. You can use these flyers.
- Ask a teacher if you may present about Technovation Girls to their class for 5-10 minutes (a science, math, technology, robotics or coding teacher could be especially supportive!).
- Arrange an after school information session or club for interested students.
- Ask teachers if they can offer extra credit for students who participate.
- Add a short article to your school’s newsletter.
- Ask your school administrator (principal or headmaster) if you can present Technovation Girls at an all-school assembly or faculty meeting.
It’s also okay to work on your submission alone - it will just be more work.
Hear how girls around the world formed their teams in this video!
Activity: Make a plan to finish your app and submit to our competition
Review the milestones and plan your calendar
Welcome to our community!
- Over 2,700 mobile apps have been created by Technovation Girls participants
- Over 3,400 professional women have mentored students like you
- This is a competition. You can learn more about the competition and prizes here
Technovation Girls is a 20+ hour time commitment, but if you stick to it, you will have an app that solves a problem in your community.
Where can you start?
- Create a student account on https://my.technovationchallenge.org. Once your parent or guardian gives consent for you to participate, you access many tools to help you complete the program, including all of the curriculum lessons your team can use to complete your submission.
- Plan your calendar. To ensure you submission is complete by the due date, make a plan for when your team will work together on different parts. Here is a suggested guide to help you start - we recommend that you plan to work at least 20 hours together.
- Learn about other girls who are solving problems with technology and the global movement you are a part of at https://technovationchallenge.org/.
- As you work on your idea, keep in mind that you can start submitting your project! Avoid putting extra pressure on yourself and begin your submission as soon as you can!
Activity: Find a mentor
A mentor is a teacher, parent, or professional who can guide your team to help you complete the Technovation program. Technovation Girls mentors have diverse backgrounds and experiences for you to learn from, and are passionate about empowering teams like yours to do great things.
Mentors can help you to learn and inspire your team to keep going!
Steps you can take to stay safe when you are interacting with your mentor:
Depending on the mentors available in your area, you can meet with them online or in person at your school or a public gathering places.
Please ensure your interactions with a mentor are always monitored by your guardian and/or educator. Here are tips for how to keep yourself safe online and at events. If you ever feel that you are in danger, ask an adult you trust for help.
Ready to find a mentor?
- You can ask your teacher to act as a mentor or help you find one in your area
- Another option is to use your dashboard to find a mentor in your area:
You do not have to have a mentor to be eligible for competition - but they can be a great cheerleader for your team!
"It was almost like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, I suddenly felt that I could have super powers through coding, it was magical! I started to realize that coding can really change the world, whether it’s a tool, an education app or a health tracking device. All of them have the potential to change people’s lives."
–Emma Yang, 2015 Technovation Finalist
Are you ready to start? Consider a few more things you'll need to prepare for the program
- Do you have the materials you’ll need?
- Where will your team meet? Ensure this is a safe, public space like a school.
- What you need to participate in Technovation
- Internet access
- Gmail account
- You need a Gmail account to log into App Inventor or Thunkable. To set up a gmail account go here.
- A mobile device is optional but highly recommended. You can use an Android phone or tablet (App Inventor & Thunkable), or an iPhone or iPad (Thunkable only)
- Do you know the supporters in your community? You can check here to learn more about other people in your community involved with Technovation Girls.