Guest blog post by our Pacific Pines #techgirls! Must read! #STEM #qld #sunsafety #innovation @leeanneenoch @CancerCouncilOz

Dear Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero 2017 Teams,

Congratulations on finishing your app! What a big achievement we have all accomplished. We have all learnt so many new skills and participating in the Tech Girls project has definitely inspired us to pursue our dream of careers in STEM.

We are the Pacific Pines Tech girls and our team consists of our amazing coaches Natalie Harris, Nadia Barratt and Kara Griggs who have encouraged us right through the whole competition. We also have our marvelous mentor Megan Reed who has guided our team to the finish line. We are Milla Mccashney, Courtney Hall, Isabelle Matthews, Emi Reed and Jasmine Sutton. We have created an app called SunFun. The purpose of the SunFun app is to educate children aged 10-14 about sun safety before their teenage years. We blended gamification techniques with educational facts throughout the app to make learning about sun safety a fun and engaging experience for users.

On the 16th of August, we held a showcase event at our school where we officially launched the SunFun app. This was our first chance to show off all our hard work so you can imagine how nervous but mostly excited we were! We invited just over 30 people which consisted of all of our families, coaches, mentor, our school administration, representatives from Cancer Council Queensland, and some of our very supportive teachers.

We each presented different aspects of the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero project. We started with a warm welcome to all of our guests and then we showcased our pitch video which everyone loved! We explained our journey through the competition, the research and work involved in completing the business plan, our industry partnership with Cancer Council Queensland, and the challenge of coding our app. To conclude our presentation we asked for any questions or comments and were bombarded with congratulations and questions about our app and our goals for the future. We answered all of these questions to the best of our ability and then spent some time mingling with our guests and enjoying light refreshments (this was a huge part of our journey – snacks are VERY important to our team! And braids… our mums are sick of braiding, haha!)

Our audience was so proud of what our team has accomplished. The launch afternoon was very special to us as all, and having our close companions there to witness our first ever showcase for our SunFun app meant so much to us. We are really proud of all of our hard work.  We hope that all of the other teams get to experience the same pride and excitement when sharing their apps - whether it be at a small event at your school or at the state showcase events.

Our team is also very excited to announce that we have been awarded a $1340 grant from IBM thanks to our mentor Megan’s volunteering efforts – how cool is that?! We still have to decide what we are going to use the grant for but we are thinking something along the lines of improving shade at our school! We were also lucky to be interviewed by the Gold Coast Bulletin and are eagerly awaiting our article in the paper! This competition has been so exciting from start to end.

So that’s a bit about our journey - we are so excited to hear about yours and see all the work you guys have done on the 3rd of September at the Brisbane Showcase. Good luck to all of the teams - we are sure you have created some amazing apps that will change the world. We sure hope our SunFun app is the start of a state wide (or maybe national or even GLOBAL) change for kids in sun safety.

From the Pacific Pines Tech Girls

Courtney, Emi, Isabelle, Jasmine & Milla