2017 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition!
We had more than 1000 girls participate this year in 2017. This is double the participants we had in 2016 and a 400% increase from 2015.
Entries were received from 143 teams by the deadline, showing the competition isn’t easy! Entries stemmed from all States and ACT in Australia, and both the North and South Island of New Zealand, for the first time ever!
We had more than 250 mentors who donated more than 6000 hours of their time! And 230 coaches who were amazing!
For those who didn’t quite submit, we welcome you back next year!
We are now finalising the judging and we will announce the state/region finalists next week. We will announce the national winners (Australia and New Zealand) on the 3rd of September at QUT.
Thanks to the Queensland Government for funding our national showcase in Brisbane! We are super excited that Minister Enoch, Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation will be back for the third year in a row!
We invite all Tech Girls who have participated in the competition in 2017 to come along to a showcase event and display their app. We also invite parents, teachers and others from their local tech industry and community, come in to talk to you about your app and what you have created.
This is a great opportunity to share your app with others and to meet other Tech Girls who have come through the Tech Girls program, we will have workshops and other hands on activities at the events, catering and of course, you get your very own Superhero cape bag full of goodies.
We would love to run a showcase event in every city if we could but sadly we don’t have the funding to do that, so if you can’t make it to our planned showcase events, we encourage you to organise your own in your locate community and invite people to find out more about your app, we are here to support you in any way we can in doing that.
We cannot wait to meet you and see our team’s Apps!
We asked you to send your original designs for our next Tech Girls signature tee! With more than 250 votes, we have a winner!
Congrats to Charlotte for her inspiring design! We can’t wait to wear this cool new tee! Pre-order now!
We are so very proud of our teams of girls who have been invited to share their creations with an international audience and be global Ambassadors for Australia.
Meet our three teams
Our Sydney-based Primary School team’s App Reading Republic encourages kids to read in a child-friendly environment where they can read and write book reviews. It’s an Android app and website that gets kids to review books, take quizzes about the books they’ve read and collect coins that unlock mini-games. The reviews allow kids to get a better understanding of what the book is about and the level of reading difficulty. Reviews can be read, listened to, or even watched, catering for all levels of students.
A creation of a Perth-based Secondary School team, Vocabulary Voyagers is a literacy app targeted at primary school students to improve their literacy reading skills in a fun, digital environment. It offers a range of preset spelling lists based on the Australian national curriculum and NAPLAN tests. The app also includes more challenging lists in order to expand children’s vocabulary. Not only does Vocabulary Voyagers improve children’s spelling and vocabulary, but it also features games directed at improving reading comprehension, with an original story. With enjoyable mini games and quirky pirates, the app helps children build a foundation to aid in literacy at a secondary level.
In 2016 the Vocabulary Voyagers entered Technovation and made it in the top 1% of entries around the world ahead of thousands of teams. Their App has already had 3500 downloads from the Google play store. Get your copy here.
This Brisbane-based Secondary School team worked hard over the summer holidays to build an App to help people with autism find employment. Speechability is a mobile application where people with autism are able to easily locate a variety of nearby jobs that are suitable to their skill and ability level. The jobs that are provided are related to users’ interests and hobbies, giving people an opportunity to work in a part time job they will love. Speechability is a not-for-profit organisation and the majority of their profits are going to Autism Queensland to support schooling for autistic children.
Last week we were super excited to be presenting as part of the Queensland STEM Education Network at their Science Teachers Association of Queensland Conference, alongside the Australia of the year EmeritusProfessor Alan Mackay-Sim.
Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim, kicked off the day’s activities, consisting of a variety of workshops on topics such as Tech Girls are Superheroes, and other issues important to teachers in the digital age.
Our trip to regional Queensland hanging out CQU was heaps of fun, and we connected with many of our supporters who have teams in the 2017 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition,
Emiritus Professor Mackay-Sim, will kick off the day’s activities, which consists of a variety of workshops on topics such as Tech Girls are Superheros, and other issues important to teachers. We are also excited to go regional to Gladstone, and hang out at CQU https://www.cqu.edu.au/ and connect with many of our supporters who have teams in the 2017 Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition, there are still spaces available so register now http://www.staq.qld.edu.au/pd-events/events-calendar#id=129&wid=301&cid=1013 See you there!
We invited you to design our next Tech Girls Superhero T-shirt and now w are asking you to vote for your favourite t-shirt!
The favourite t-shirt will be chosen for print and will be worn by many Tech Girl Superheroes in 2017 and beyond!
The vote will be open to the public until Sunday the 16th of July and you can vote as many times as you like! Please remember to include your email address so we can notify you of the winning design!
Please share with your family and friends
Last week Reading Republic were awarded as the Junior Students Winner (NSW Division) for the New South Wales iAwards!
Reading Republic encourages kids to read in a child-friendly environment where you can read and write book reviews. It’s an Android app and website that gets kids to review books, take quizzes about the books they’ve read and collect coins that unlock mini-games. The reviews allow kids to get a better understanding of what the book is about and the level of reading difficulty. Reviews can be read, listened to, or even watched, catering for all levels of students.
Officially: Other reading apps are too expensive and don’t allow kids to interact and share their thoughts about the books they are reading. Reading Republic is designed for kids by kids. Reading Republic is utilising technology to assist with the development of kid’s literacy skills and it’s a great example of new technology supporting older forms of entertainment like reading.
On Wednesday the 24th of May, our founder and CEO, Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen took to the stage at Australia’s biggest technology conference, CeBIT, 2017.
Invited as a panellist to talk about the future workforce in Australia, Jenine discussed how the Tech Girls Movement is creating a new generation of technology entrepreneurs, who have hands-on skills and confidence to contribute to the Australian talent pipeline.
Talking alongside industry giants such as Alan Noble, the Head of Engineering at Google in Australia and New Zealand, and CSIRO (talking about their Scientists in Schools program), and the University of Technology Sydney, and our partner Kelly Tagalan at Code Club Australia and others, the discussion highlighted the current gaps in the workplace and how we collectively are working together to address them.
We had some fun with it with Jenine aka Jewella wearing her signature red superhero cape on stage. The panel followed an inspiring presentation by Randi Zuckerburg, who, herself, is encouraging girls into STEM.
Jenine met Randi Zuckerburg, the fabulous sister of Mark Zuckerberg Founder of Facebook, and she gave her a copy of Tech Girls are Superheroes and got this cool snap! Randi’s presentation was really entertaining. Randi talked about her book to get girls into STEM. Get your copy of Dot now! https://www.amazon.com/Dot-Randi-Zuckerberg/dp/0062287516
So what is the Brisbane Women in Tech Salesforce user group? Run by Emily Hay and Bec Aichholzer, it’s part of the global Salesforce user group program. A user group is a group of people centered around a particular software or hardware, who come together regularly to share experiences and understanding of the product.
About 7 years ago, the original Women in Tech Salesforce user group started with around 20 women meeting up at the annual Dreamforce conference, held by Salesforce in San Francisco. It’s now grown into a global network of more than 76 groups, with thousands of members.
The Brisbane Women in Tech user group have a vision:
“To create a supportive, engaging and friendly environment for local women in tech to share experiences, and build a network. We want to answer the questions, “Is it just me? Am I alone?” with a resounding NO!”
This time round, fabulous local start-up Skedulo decided to re-up on last year’s support and via their sponsorship, helped Emily & Bec bring the screening to our attendees, entirely free of charge. As Emily put it, “that’s pretty rad, so I thought to myself, we should use this as an opportunity to pay that radness forwards.”
Cue Tech Girls Movement. Emily & Bec collected donations in lieu of charging for tickets, and the event raised $695 in total for TGM, and also raised awareness about our cause.
Emily describes the introduction to the film as “a phenomenal panel of business and tech leaders, I was loathe to end the panel discussion to allow for the screening; I could have listened to these women drop truth-bombs all evening. A huge thank you to Rebecca Livesey, Jamie Leach & Dr Catherine Ball for sharing their time with us at the event!”
Rebecca Livesey is an executive coach and Managing Director of Achieve-Lead-Succeed, previously a non-technical CIO and experienced in what it takes to strike out on your own after working for big business.
Dr Catherine Ball is an author, founder, and ethics advocate working across global projects where robotics and new technology meet environmental protection. Check out her exciting project, She Flies, where you can learn how drones can change the world, and even get to pilot one yourself!
Jamie Leach is the CEO of GIS People & Gruntify; Chair of Tech Girls Movement Foundation, and currently studying for her Doctorate of Business Administration in Financial Barriers to Female Entrepreneurs, Jamie has extensive knowledge of what it takes to create successful web start-ups.
The film itself was very interesting and the audience’s hearts were riding the emotional ups and downs experienced by the young female tech entrepreneurs profiled. Overall, there were a few poignant take-away messages for young women, from both the film and the panel:
“Feel the fear and do it anyway”
“It’s when you’re being true to yourself that you can change the world”
While friends, family, teachers and other role models are there to support you and give you advice, you ultimately must be true to yourself. What do you think is important? What are your values? What is your idea of success?
Out of thousands of teams around the world, Queensland Secondary School team Speechability and New South Wales Primary School team Reading Republic have been named among the 200 semi-finalists announced this week, with a have a chance at the 12 top finalist places to formally pitch their app in San Francisco in August.
Alisa, Aeshlein and Lily created Speechability, an Appfor parents, carers or people with a disability to easily locate businesses offering part time or casual jobs.
Speechability is a mobile application where people with autism will be able to easily locate a variety of nearby jobs that are suitable to their skill and ability level. The jobs that are provided are related to users’ interests and hobbies, giving people an opportunity to work in a part time job they will love. Speechability is a not-for-profit organisation and majority of our profits are going to Autism Queensland to support schooling for autistic children.
Angelica, Sabrina, Isobel, Sophia and Claire created Reading Republic, an Appto encourage children to read.
We think education should be free so we are building a social app to share our love of reading! In our App there are…coins, quizzes, a ‘My Library’ feature, book reviews from your friends and avatars from your favourite books!
Reading Republic were named National Australian winners in 2016 in the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition – you may have seen them on ABC TV Good Game.
Join us in wishing our teams all the best for the finals!