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Technovation Challenge

Lowering the barriers to STEM participation

Technovation Challenge is the largest and longest-running global technology competition exclusively for girls in grades 8 – 12 to inspire the pursuit of STEM. Over the course of 12 weeks, girls work with professional women in technology to develop mobile phone apps that solve a specific problem.

From 2010-12, Technovation Challenge NYC held weekly meetings at Google, which limited participation to those who could travel there each week. In 2013, Iridescent Learning partnered with network members, YMCA of Greater New York and The POINT CDC, to run Technovation Clubs at sites throughout the city, and capitalized on the connections of Hive NYC Learning Network to recruit participants across the city.

The club-based model allowed Technovation Challenge NYC to enroll more girls who worked in teams of five with volunteer, female, tech mentors to develop and program mobile phone apps. Each team met once a week on their own time and at their own location to follow a sequenced online curriculum, including lesson plans, how-to guides, App Inventor tutorials, and video interviews with women in tech.

Teens from the Reel Works Filmmaking program provided additional support by running a workshop on creating and editing effective videos, while a student photographer from The POINT documented the teams’ learning process throughout the challenge.

At the end of the 12 weeks, the teams created videos to pitch their prototypes and business plans to a panel of judges for funding consideration. Winners from each region went on to compete in a national pitch night in Silicon Valley.

This project was funded by the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund in The New York Community Trust in 2012.

Lead Organization:
Iridescent Learning

Partner Organizations:
YMCA of Greater New York , The POINT CDC , Reel Works , Girl Scouts of NYC

Project Goal:
Scale the Technovation Challenge by adopting a club-based model to enable girls anywhere in NYC to participate

Project Tags:
STEM, Youth Development & Leadership

Project Portfolio