The annual Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition began with 16 students in 2014, and it has grown to up to 1000 students per year. We have engaged more than 10,000 girls in our hands-on program over six years. The program in 2020 will be known more simply as the Techgirls Competition as we launch into our 7th year.
The program is changing the way girls perceive and engage in STEM. The program combines problem-solving through a social, business and technical lens, producing high-quality business plans, pitch videos and working app prototypes from girls as young as 7 to 17. Through highlighting pathways and role models and connecting teams with female mentors, we engage girls to build skills, which helps to build confidence, and the teamwork and mentorship help to grow courage.
Overall, the Techgirls program works because it is based on empirical research and 20 years of running intervention and outreach programs in schools. The Techgirls program is an excellent example of research turned into practice.