From identifying snakes, to teaching sign language through songs, and creating a way to involved young kids in reading – these are the latest mobile app creations innovated by our youngest ever participants in the national competition, Tech Girls. This year three teams of Year 5 and 6 girls have taken part in this 12 week long programme in which the aim is to encourage more females to see tech as a potential career.

Today, their final products have been submitted to the competition – a business plan, a prototype mobile app, two pitch videos and a demonstration video of their app. Over the 12 weeks, the three teams have been mentored by women who work in the IT industry, Maya Chester, Olivia Ward and Liza Bertoldi and they have attended weekly meetings with them, either in person or over Zoom. The relationships they have developed with their mentors have been amazing to witness. Mr Royce Smith and Ms Lisa Thomson then worked as coaches supporting as well.

Tech Girls is a fantastic competition to be involved in. This is the first year we’ve offered in the Junior School students and it has been amazing to see the level of engagement, ownership, team work, creativity and organisation that these girls have demonstrated. Each group selected a real world problem, then not only went on to research and ideate a solution, but then created the functioning mobile application. Their passion and enthusiasm throughout the programme has been a joy to see. Every girl should be so proud of what they have created. Their resilience in working in the final week over Zoom to complete all aspects of this challenging competition is a credit to them as well.

The Superlatives This Year 6 team created the Sign a Song app, encouraging children to learn Auslan by learning to ‘sign’ popular songs. Their app includes animated gifs that teach Cover me in Sunshine, a video of the song being signed by the girls, the ability for users to record themselves signing the song and saving and sharing it in the app.

Shake IT Up These Year 6 girls invented Snake It Safe. This app allows users to take a photo of snake and via artificial intelligence identify a photo of a snake, as well as being able to learn more about snakes and call a snake catcher direct from the app.

The Dynamic Developers The youngest of participants, these four Year 5s designed Kourageous Kids. This is an app with the aim to close a gap in a community of children who are not interested in reading by encouraging them to learn about the colours of the rainbow. Their app incorporates bright screens, animations and voice from text.

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