In the spirit of Ada Lovelace, these girls are trying to do something about the demographics of women in tech companies.
According to CodeGirlMovie.com, in the $77 Billion app market only 20% of developers are female. This striking statistic is the motivation behind the Technovation Challenge: the global technology entrepreneurship program for girls. Organizers work to challenge and empower girls worldwide to develop apps for an international competition.
Since 2010 over 5,000 girls have entered the Technovation Challenge from 60 different countries. The girls have three months to design an app that can help solve problems in their community. This presents an opportunity for the high school girls to learn to code, create a business plan, make a pitch video and analyze their competition.
The 16 qualifying teams are announced at a ceremony in San Francisco, California for a chance to win first place and $10,000. Each of the qualifying teams is featured in a full length documentary called “CodeGirl” directed by Lesley Chilcott. The documentary was available for four days in the first week of November free of charge through YouTube.
See the 16 qualifying teams and their projects at CodeGirlMovie.com.
So what is the film about?
The film begins with a quote by Justin Wolfers, an American and Australian economist, who reveals that “fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John.”. The film observes teams of girls from around the world – including Moldova, California, Mexico and beyond – competing in the Technovation Challenge.
The teams tackle problems such as domestic violence, water purification and community service projects while exploring the world of computer science. By addressing local problems and solutions, the young girls prepare themselves for future endeavors and career choices while learning valuable skills that have historically been dominated by males.
Only one team can win, but most girls walk away from the challenge with a deeper understanding of coding and an enthusiasm to try again next year. You can arrange a screening of CodeGirl in your community, simply sign up at the movie’s website.
Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and AT&T have also partnered with different organizations to encourage girls to get involved with computer sciences at a young age. According to GirlsWhoCode.com 74% of middle school girls express an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, but only 0.4% percent of the same girls select computer science in high school.
Projects like GirlsWhoCode.com and CodeGirl hope to change the stigma attached to programming and coding: that girls don’t have to be under-represented in the technological world. CodeGirl is offering girls and boys alike a free coding lesson from Codeacademy or Code.org just by signing up. Learn more here.
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