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Technovation Girls expands to 8 to 12 year age range

Technovation Girls expands to 8 to 12 year age range

Women and technology. The international competition on technology and entrepreneurship aimed at girls and young women is launching the 'beginner team' category this season.

For the fifth consecutive year, Biblioteques de Barcelona is promoting Technovation Girls in the city, an international competition to encourage technological vocations and an entrepreneurial spirit among girls and young women. The competition aims to provide new generations of girls with the knowledge and skills to solve real problems through technology. This year's edition opens a new category, the Beginner team (8 to 12 years old), which joins the other Junior (13 to 15 years old) and Senior (16 to 18 years old) teams.

One of the causes of the low representation of women in technology careers and professions lies in a lack of vocations, which in turn responds to clichés and the influence of a traditionally masculinised society. The low proportion of women choosing to pursue a career in technology makes it difficult to overcome existing gender inequalities in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics). Examples of these inequalities are the difficulties in accessing positions of responsibility, wage differences between women and men in equivalent positions, difficulties in reconciling work and family life, invisibility and discriminatory practices, among others, as pointed out in the recent study Women and Science in Barcelona, commissioned by Barcelona Science and Universities.

To help reduce this gap, actions such as Technovation Girls, an Iridescent initiative that in Catalonia is promoted by Espiral, Education and Technology with the support of the Consulate General of the United States and Biblioteques de Barcelona. The international competition has been organised since 2010 and since its inception more than 25,000 girls from 100 different countries have participated. Thanks to the project, the young participants learn to programme a mobile application that solves a problem that can be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this process of finding solutions, the girls learn content related to research, innovation, idea generation, programming, algorithms, databases, sensor technology and even artificial intelligence.

The young women who join Technovation Girls look for technological solutions to problems such as bullying in schools, care for dependent people, environmental and sustainability challenges… They do this through a learning process guided by mentors, and the projects developed have the possibility of going on to the global competition. In 2021, a total of 404 girls participated in Technovation Girls in Catalonia, creating 118 applications for mobile devices. This year’s expansion is expected to reach a larger number of participants and create a lot of technological vocations and innovative solutions.

 

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