Hello, so I have written two posts on the Tech Needs Girls Workshop, building up to the main event. I wanted to write a post on the main event today, but yesterday, Regina Agyare wrote her own blog post on her site —-> here , and it is perfect. It is exactly what I wanted to write and since I just finished Uni, I still have some dubbing (copying) skills. So instead of writing mine, I have decided to copy hers (with permission). Check it out.
On the 1st of June 2013, if you happened to be at the KNUST Campus , Computer Science department to be precise, you would have passed by a very colourful banner announcing an interactive workshop organized by Soronko Solutions. On this day a movement had begun which will continue region wide till we bridge the gender gap in technology. The Tech Needs Girls Interactive Workshop is a hands on workshop that takes girls from Senior Secondary Schools and offers them the opportunity to be mentored by female computer scientists on how to code and create technology. The girls are also empowered to think more entrepreneurial, pursue their passions and careers in science and technology.
The ultra modern Tech Hub built by Vodafone one of the sponsors of the event, was the venue for the workshop. 50 girls from 3 Senior Secondary Schools, Kumasi Anglican Senior Secondary School, Youth Institute for Science and Technology and Elite College attended the workshop. The girls were assigned to 8 groups of five with 8 mentors who also served as role models. The first session broke misconceptions and introduced the girls to other females who were excelling in careers in Technology. The girls also discovered that a basic website and mobile application could be developed in 30 minutes. They even got a chance to witness a simple java application being developed by one of the mentors in 4 minutes.
The next session was a brief talk on entrepreneurship by the Business Development Manager of VOTO Mobile and how technology offered a lot of career opportunities for women by Delores Maxwell the Group Manager of Technology Service Management, Ecobank Group. The girls also got a chance to see applications built by their mentors who demoed innovative applications such as an online voting application, an e-learning, e-health application, android spa game etc. The girls were also introduced to logical thinking and algorithms through a quick quiz to test their logic skills, the use of Scratch a visual programming language and Azonto the latest dance craze from Ghana. They were also taken through how to use social media such as Facebook and twitter.
During the interactive session saw the girls learnt more about HTML coding, mobile applications development, Google docs, networking and social media. The girls also took part in an innovation challenge where they were asked to develop a technology solution which allowed students who did not understand what was taught in class to get further information from their teachers or fellow students. The winning team designed an innovative e-learning web application that integrated social media, email, SMS and an android mobile application in their solution. The winning team won wonderful prizes and partial scholarships to study a Software Development Course at Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT the first Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI) in Ghana. The winning Group’s mentor was also awarded a prize for mentoring and guiding her group to think creatively. At the end of the program each participant received a certificate of participation.
The workshop ended with great feedback from the girls who enjoyed the session, learnt some coding and believed they could do the extraordinary. The mentees were also excited at the option of a continuous mentorship from their mentors. This workshop was made possible by support from Fidelity Bank Ghana, Diamond Capital, iSpace Foundation, Dreamoval Foundation, Vodafone, Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT, Rolls Communications, Pepsi, Higrade Media, mFriday, TechHub and Ghana Think.
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