Whether it’s saving seals or tackling loneliness, a wide array of clever solutions to big problems were presented at the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero NSW showcase.
Among the ideas showcased at the University of Technology Sydney-hosted event was Doggo Fit, an app that helps dog owners keep their furry friends fit and healthy. The app, which was created by a team of girls from St. Mary’s Catholic Primary School in North Sydney, sends a notification to remind owners to take their dogs for a walk. If owners reach their weekly walking goal, they receive a 10% discount on premium dog food delivered to their door.
Another team from St. Mary’s built an app that can help you cut your electricity bill in half. When you forget to turn off the lights, TV, or other electrical appliances when you walk out the door, Energy Aware sends you a notification.
And while there are loads of job apps, few are targeted towards young people looking for work experience and casual positions. Enter Youth Connect, created by a team of senior girls at Santa Sabina College in Strathfield, which closes this gap by matching employers with potential employees aged 15-25 years old.
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Now in its sixth year, the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition brings together teams of girls aged 7-17 from schools throughout Australia and New Zealand to pinpoint an issue in their community and create a mobile app to solve the problem.
The girls research the challenge they want to solve, sketch out a business plan, design and code an app, and pitch their idea to Australian STEM leaders. The winning teams are flown to Silicon Valley to present their ideas to top tech executives and engineers.
“The girls look deep inside themselves and their community to find a problem that they can solve,” says Jenine Beekhuyzen, founder and CEO of the Tech Girls Movement.
This year, there were a total of 566 girls in 146 teams registered in the competition. This included 69 teams from NSW, many of which came from regional schools.
By 2020, the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition is set to have 10,000 girls on board.
Author: Gemma Conroy
Gemma is a freelance journalist with a passion for making science accessible to everyone. Gemma has a degree in biology from Macquarie University and loves sharing amazing discoveries with the world.