As part of the ITU's Girls in ICT
project & Tech Needs Girls
campaign, Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN
brings Technovation Challenge to Nigeria. The Mobile App Challenge was opened on Monday for secondary school girls (ages 13-18) who would work in teams of 5s to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor/role model from the technology industry. WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams from now till April on how to build the apps. The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market.
The goal of the program is to promote women in technology by inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the technology industry.
The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.
Over this period girls will be trained 2 hours a week to develop a potential solution to a problem and program a mobile phone application to solve it. The app must solve a problem in their local community. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of a resource. They will learn how to study their competition, identify ways in which they can gather users and earn revenue. Each team will be guided by a teacher from their school and a female mentor from the high tech industry to support and act as a role model for her team.
The winning team will be celebrated in Nigeria on April 25th(Girls in ICT Day) and will travel to the Silicon Valley California to compete globally on May 1st, 2013. The overall winner will receive $ 10,000 in funding and support to complete their app development and release it on the market.
In the end, Girls learn about collaboration and teamwork, important skills in the technology industry.
To sign up- all you need is a team of 5 girls, a computer, an android phone, and a teacher or adult to support the team.
On February 2nd, Mrs Martha Omoekpen Alade, Chairperson of Women in Technology in Nigeria formally welcomed all teams in Lagos on the “hackday” to brainstorm on starting off.