Want to change the world via technology? Schoolgirls show the way

  • The AISM team MY Tech Mooks created an app for donors and charities
  • ReShare app currently in beta, to be modified before being made available
Want to change the world via technology? Schoolgirls show the way

FOUR Year 6 students from the Australian International School Malaysia (AISM) were recently selected as semi-finalists in the ‘middle school’ category of the Technovation Innovation Challenge, a global technology entrepreneurship programme for girls.
 
The programme, supported by companies such as Google Inc and Intel Corp, challenges girls aged 19 and below from all over the world to build a mobile app, write a business plan, and submit a pitch video about their idea which will help address a community problem.
 
Since 2010, 5,000 girls from 28 countries have participated in the Technovation Innovation Challenge. Every year, four teams who make it to the finals win a place to participate in the World Pitch Summit, although the AISM team did not make it to the finals.
 
The AISM team – named MY Tech Mooks – consisting of Megan Yap, Mia Tan, Tania Thong and Emily Tan were among the 12 teams chosen from the Europe, Asia, Australia & New Zealand regions, AISM said in a statement.
 
The students created an app called ReShare, which would help the underprivileged by allowing people or organisations who have things to donate to list what they have available, and for organisations and charities which rely on donations to look through the list and select the things they want to receive.
 
Once they have made their selections, the donor and receiver can communicate through the app and arrange drop-off or collection.
 
ReShare will get donations to where they are needed most efficiently and will give charity organisations more control about what they receive, the MY Tech Mooks team believes. Donors can also be sure that their donations are going towards a good cause.
 
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The ReShare app is currently in beta and is due for some final modifications before it is available for download, according to AISM.
 
“My mother volunteers with refugees and we saw how little they had in their daily lives. We wanted to help,” said team-member Megan.
 
“We could see there was a problem about getting things to where they were needed and we wanted to help fix that,” she added.
 
One of the most important things that Technovation participants learn is how to develop a business plan, including doing market research, working out target markets, analysing competition, knowing how to differentiate their product, and calculating market size and potential revenue, said AISM.
 
“We have even learned lots of other new skills too, like how to use iMovie to make our videos, building apps and databases, producing artwork and graphics,” said Mia, the youngest in the team.
 
“Working together as a team was also hard work, but we have learnt so much from this experience.
 
“The challenge has made us realise we can create things and we understand better about how technology works in different things,” she added.
 
To view their pitch video, click below:
 

 
“Statistics show that although many girls are very interested in science, technology and maths in middle school, far too few go on to study these areas at university or pursue careers in technology,” said MY Tech Mooks coach and their science teacher Susan Skinner.
 
“Through Technovation, girls realise early on that they can do these things – they can code and build and really make a change. Technovation helps to break down stereotypes and close the gender gap,” she added.
 
Related Stories:
 
Girls in STEM careers: It’s on you, parents!
 
10 women behind key technology breakthroughs
 
The gender gap in STEM
 
 
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