“Math and Science are keys to technology. It is crucial to bridge existing gender gaps in these two areas to maintain access to under-represented groups, like girls, to technology related occupations.”
The TechTeens program is designed to prepare students between the ages of 13 to 19 years to further their education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). The TechTeens program encourages participants to use their imaginations in seeking solutions to real-world, hands-on problems in their communities. The goal of the TechTeens program is to increase the number of students choosing STEM careers and securing the future technology talent pipeline in developing countries, starting in Africa.
Education is undergoing a major paradigm shift from traditional learning environments focused on the teacher as the “deliverer” of knowledge to new, open learning environments focused on the learner as information seeker. In the TechTeens program, the learners are empowered to become the problem solver, co-teacher, information seeker and explorer.
The TechTeens program offers a 4-week girls summer camp called GirlsRock! that builds students’ confidence by providing a practical understanding of engineering and how technology can enhance the quality of life. GirlsRock! participants attend interactive classes, programming and robotics workshops and hear from other successful women pursuing STEM careers. The goal is to increase the enrollment of girls, in particular, in engineering programs and careers. The program duration for TechTeens is 6 months.
The TechTeens program impacts students by:
- Teaching them the tools to be innovators and problem solvers.
- Giving all students the support they need to sustain a high level of academic achievement in a demanding environment.
- Empowering them to view science as a new way of looking at the world.
- Equipping them with the essential technology skills to excel in the labour market.
Students work together to create projects and solve problems. Students may snap away with a digital camera and learn to use a scanner, then download to a computer and modify the images to create a custom slide show, or create Internet web pages, learn and use word and excel documents, compose emails, print digital photos and more. TechTeens program participants also learn about social media, audio engineering, video game creation, and mobile app development.
Independent research shows the impact of the TechTeens program:
- 98% of students demonstrate a genuine interest in technology (pre-post increase)
- participants demonstrate at least a 75% increase in STEM interest
- 96% of program graduates go on to higher education within 2 years
- 30% of program graduates obtain employment in a STEM field or industry within 5 years of program completion
- 40% increase in college application and acceptance rate
- 55% of girls pursue STEM careers or declare a STEM major in university