Positive Impact

Because your app or AI invention could hurt people by accident, you need to think carefully about what effect it will have on different people

Could an invention that helps direct traffic signals cause harm to anybody?

What about a mobile app where people share their pictures with others?

WHY MIGHT THAT BE GOOD OR BAD?

Let’s say there’s a garbage collector robot that automatically picks up and sorts items into recycling.

recycle bins

Could that robot cause any problems?

What about a mobile app that lets a patient communicate directly with their doctor?

Could there be any issues with an app like that?

WHY ALL THESE QUESTIONS?

By answering these questions, you were thinking about ethics!

Ethics is thinking about right and wrong.

You want to make sure that your project helps people and society instead of causing harm, even if the harm is by accident. 

girl thumbs up

The video below talks about how you can make technology that does good and does no harm.

BATYA'S 5 (6) BIG WORDS

  1. Stakeholders
    • Who is affected by your project?
  2. Direct stakeholders
    • Others who might be affected by your project.
  3. Widespread use
    • What does it mean if LOTS of people use your product?
  4. Materiality
    • Stuff! (used to make a cellphone) or used to build your project.
  5. Progress (not perfection)
    • Although it’s hard, do your best to make sure your project will do good and no harm.

THINK AS YOU BUILD

You will write the algorithms to make your mobile app run, or to make your AI model learn.

You need to make sure you think about your stakeholders along the way!

VALUE SCENARIOS

If your app includes AI, this video should make you think a little more about your dataset and preventing bias.

"If it’s your algorithm, it’s your responsibility. This is the only way that we can sort of sustain a world where we know who is responsible for what."

Stop and Discuss

  • Who are your stakeholders?
  • Direct stakeholders? Your users?
  • Indirect stakeholders? Who is affected your project?
two girls talking

ACTIVITY: ETHICAL JOURNEY

Download the file and fill out the worksheet

Project Check-in

Now that you have started to work on your project, it’s time to check in on some parts of your project.

USER FEEDBACK

Let’s start with your target audience.

Test out your ideas:

  • Show users your paper prototype from unit 5.
  • Ask them to perform a task with the project.
  • Watch how they do it.
  • Take notes!

Here is a good example of testing your prototype with users.

After you test your project with your target audience, look at your notes.

  • Does anything surprise you?
  • Did your users like your prototype?
  • Did they understand how it works? 
  • Was it easy for them to perform the task?
user testing

You might need to update your project plan and design based on your user feedback!

PROJECT PLAN

Speaking of project plans, It’s good practice to keep your project plan from Unit 5 handy.

Each week, check your tasks, who is doing what, and make sure you’ve done what you were supposed to do.

sticky notes, project plan

Keep the Technovation Girls milestone calendar in mind as you check your progress.

PROGRAM TIMELINE GOES HERE

The timeline will help to keep your team on track!

Making Prototypes

WHAT IS A PROTOTYPE?

A prototype is an early sample or model of a product to test out an idea.

box robot illustration
android phone illustration

WHY MAKE A PROTOTYPE?

girl working on craft project

It's cheap!

Use pencils, paper, markers, paper, or cardboard

It's easy to make and change

You can erase or redo it

girl showing 2 people her artwork

It's unfinished

Users tend to be more honest with their feedback

Good for testing

Show your ideas to users before spending time on the final product

This video explains why paper prototyping is important to do, and ways to do it.

Here is a prototype from one of our Technovation Families!

Watch some past Technovation Girls talk about how they made their paper prototypes.

ACTIVITY: MAKE A PAPER PROTOTYPE

Download the file and use it to draw out your prototype
girls writing on board

Planning your Project

notebook, pen, and lightbulb

PLANNING MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

You have a short amount of time to finish your project.

Plan your time carefully!

Spread out the tasks among teammates.

Review the Technovation milestones! Use the dates to help guide and make your plan.

PROGRAM TIMELINE GOES HERE

BREAK IT DOWN!

Your project is BIG!

drawing of mountain with woman hiker at bottom looking up
  • To make it to the top, you need to do many small tasks
  • Smaller tasks are easier to do than larger tasks
  • They all add up to a successful project!
woman at top of mountain

PLAN MORE THAN JUST YOUR APP OR PROJECT

Here is what you and your teammates will need to do and submit on the Technovation Girls website:

  • Complete your profile (each team member) 
  • Choose and write a project name and description
  • Include a team photo
  • Write about your team
  • Write about your learning journey
  • Include 2-6 images of your journey
  • Create a pitch video
  • Create a technical video
  • Include a link to your app or Scratch project

More detailed submission guidelines can be found here.

 
Learn how Saanvi, a Technovation alumna, planned out her Technovation project in the video below.

ACTIVITY: PLAN YOUR PROJECT

Download the file and fill out the worksheet.
If you want to see an example, click HERE.

You’ve thought about your values and what is important to you. Now you might start to think about problems that affect people in your community.

ACTIVITY 2: PROBLEMS IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Download the file and fill out the worksheet

If you need more inspiration, check out the videos below!

Minimum Viable Product

In this video, you’ll learn about the Minimum Viable Product, and why that is important for your users.

See how two Technovation alumnae, Meghana and Saanvi, decided on which features to include in their mobile apps. 

ACTIVITY: MVP Worksheet

Download the file and fill out the worksheet

Which Technology to Use?

Now that you have thought about your problem to solve and how you might solve it, you have to think about the right technology to use. 

NOT EVERY PROBLEM NEEDS TECHNOLOGY OR AI TO SOLVE!

Can you think of a problem we don’t need technology to solve?

EXAMPLE: It's cold outside!

man with hat and mittens
More warm clothes

or

Electric heater
man with hat and mittens

  • Cheaper
  • Better for the environment
  • Adjusts quickly - you can remove or add clothes

or

  • Feel warmer
  • Heats everyone in the room
  • More comfortable without heavy clothes

LET'S LOOK AT SOME OTHER EXAMPLES

QUESTION 1: City deliveries

Fed-ex truck in traffic
Trucks

or

bicycle courier
Bicycles

QUESTION 2: Drying wet clothes

clothesline with clothes hanging on it
Clothesline

or

Electric dryer

QUESTION 3: Checking for floods

Water level sensor detects when water rises

or

satellite imagery of floods
Satellites in space send water level information

WHAT TECHNOLOGY WORKS BEST FOR YOUR SOLUTION?

Remember, you don’t have to solve the entire problem! You can solve a piece of a problem with your project. 

Once you decide on which platform you want to use, and if you want to use artificial intelligence, then just follow the lessons that will help you learn what you need to know. You can skip the other lessons.  

INSPIRATION

Below are some pitch videos from past Technovation Beginner teams.
Note that video lengths may differ from current requirements.  

Brainstorming Solutions

Now you have a problem statement for the problem you want to solve, you need to think about how you will solve it.

Time to get your brains 
working again!
 
This time you will think of ways to solve your problem.
brain, lightning, and light bulbs

KNOW THE RULES

Before you get started,  here a some good rules to follow as a team. Click on each sun icon to uncover the rule.

pink flower

No judgement

There are no right or wrong ideas

Encourage more ideas

Any thoughts may spark new, great ideas

Build on the ideas of others

Think more "and" instead of "but"

Stay focused on the topic

Keep the ideas around your problem

One conversation at a time

Take turns expressing your ideas

Be visual

Write down ideas with simple words or draw images

Go for quantity

More is better!

ACTIVITY: BRAINSTORM SOLUTIONS

Use the worksheet to write down your ideas

Past Technovation participants share their journey to finding the right solution in the Live Class video below. Check it out!

4 girls with girls for a change t-shirts on

Choose Your Problem to Solve

You have brainstormed problems that needs solving! 

In the next activity you will choose 2 or 3 problems from your list and write them down.

Each team member will then vote for the problem that they want to solve.

You will need to explain your vote with a good reason!

bubbles with reasons for voting for a problem to solve

ACTIVITY 1: CHOOSE YOUR PROBLEM

Download the file and fill out the worksheet

Now that you have voted for the problem you want to work on,

voting box
volleyball team in huddle raising hands

Decide as a team which problem you will solve.

If you are ready … because

then it’s time to make a  problem statement.

scrabble tiles spelling ready

In the next activity, you will answer the following questions:

WHO?

The user or group...

WHAT?

needs a way ...

WHY?

because ...

EXAMPLES

  • (WHO?) Joseph needs a way (WHAT?) to feel more independent because (WHY?) he is blind and has to rely on others to help him in school.

     

  • (WHO?) The people who live in the Los Angeles area need a way (WHAT?) to donate leftover food because (WHY?) there is too much food waste and hungry people.

     

  • (WHO?) Elderly people need a way (WHAT?)  to connect with younger people because (WHY?) they often feel isolated and lonely.

ACTIVITY 2: MAKE A PROBLEM STATEMENT

Download the file and fill out the worksheet
feedback bubbles

Getting Feedback

stop sign

Before you go further, you want to know:

  • Is the problem I want to solve something that needs solving?
  • Do my users want help with this problem?

Throughout your project, you should stay in contact with your users, also known as your target audience or target market. These are the people you are trying to help with your project.

Here are some examples of products and their target markets. Click on the ? to see the target market.

Barbie doll

Target Market

Children aged 3-12

meow mix cat food bag

Target Market

People who own cats

whatsapp chat window

Target Market

People who own smartphones

Here are some ways to stay in contact with your users.

Ask them a series of questions

  • In person
  • Over the phone
  • Over video chat
  • Email (last option – it’s better to hear their voice and see their reactions to your questions).
two people sitting at table with talk bubbles above their heads

WHAT SHOULD YOU ASK?

  • “Do you currently have this problem?”
  • “How do you solve or work around this problem now?”
  • “If I solved this problem using technology, would you use my solution?”

Brainstorming Problems

light bulbs surrounding a bubble with the word problem inside it

Let’s create more ideas from our list of problems to solve!

So far, you've come up with some problems you might tackle.

Problems personal to you

Problems in your community

Let's do some brainstorming!

the word brainstorm inside a head silhouette

Using your BRAIN to STORM a problem

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

  • Your team! Or you can work on your own
  • Several BIG sheets of paper
  • Different colored pencils or markers

ACTIVITY: PROBLEM MAPPING

Follow directions below
  1. Choose one of the problems you’ve written down from before.
  2. Write it down in the middle of the page.
  3. Choose a colored pen or marker. If you are working on a team, have each person take a different color.
  4. Write your thoughts and ideas as branches from the main problem.
  5. If any branches give you new ideas, write down and connect your ideas to the corresponding branch.

IF YOU ARE WORKING ONLINE

  • Use padlet.com for online problem mapping
  • Sign up (all team members) with your parents’ help
  • Create a new padlet
    (Canvas template recommended)
  • Invite team members

And then do it again!

  • Try a different problem from your team
  • Use a fresh piece of paper or a new padlet online
  • BRAINSTORM!

bunch of images in thought cloud

Save these papers/ padlets

Think about which problems you might like to solve!