Recently Malden High School was chosen to be a hub for Technovation which is a completely free twelve week after school program for young women only. The program focuses on Mobile App development from its start to its end. Any girl from ages twelve and up, from middle school to high school can participate in the program, with no experience in programing necessary. Girls that take part in this program will be taught brainstorming, User Experience preferences, analysis, pitching their original ideas, writing business plans, and other useful lessons through the good curriculum of Technovation.
About ten years ago Technovation began in Mountain View, CA and since then it has become an international program. Previously, the program was accommodated for girls that moved into majoring in math, science, and computer science- something they might not been able to do elsewhere.
For twelve weeks the girls in this program will work in teams of three to five girls designing an app and creating a survey for its users. Each group will be matched with their own business mentor that will contact them through a Google hangout once a week. Their business mentors will help by evaluating their surveys and discussing with them the different aspects such as who they are trying to appeal to and more. Not only can their business mentors help them with their projects but they can also teach the girls a little about how they got into the business world themselves. Through Technovation, many of the girls have created their own businesses.
After these twelve weeks of designing an app, each team will video tape themselves pitching their idea together and then submit it into a competition. Once all of these tapes are evaluated, one team from Massachusetts will be selected to go to California, with an all expenses paid trip to an international competition.
On Wednesday February 4th, the program came together for the first time. The girls were presented with a slideshow, by technical mentor Kelly Powers, introducing them to the world of Technovation and everything the program is working towards. Powers expressed, “there are a lot of really creative aspects to this project which makes it really interesting.”
During the first meeting the girls split up into groups to start brainstorming ideas for an app they thought would be beneficial in some way. Each group discussed their ideas and produced mini stories explaining a scenario where someone had a problem that their app would be able to fix. The groups then went on to present each of their ideas to everyone. When talking about the process of thinking and designing an app, junior Allie Fletcher said that "it [was] really fun.”
The program works to challenge girls to arise an app for the community, that can work towards solving a common issue within the that community. Technical mentor Kelly Powers explained that “the main part of this challenge is to bring all of the strengths of [their] teammates.” The teamwork required for this program is a great way to bring girls together with different abilities that can help each other learn new skills.