Tech Girls Movement founder says STEM is “naturally creative”

09 November 2015

ABC Radio National has highlighted the work of Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen, founder of the Tech Girls Movement, for her pioneering role in encouraging girls into science and technology careers. Dr Beekhuyzen has been joined by over twenty women working in STEM fields to provide positive role models for younger girls, encouraging them not only to talk about technology, but also empowering them to design technology. The Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition allows girls to work through a 12-week curriculum which uses an MIT program, App Inventor, to built their app prototype. Each girl or team is matched with a mentor and the program is fully online so there are no geographical restrictions on participation.

The 2014 competition was won by 12-year-old Melbourne Girls Grammar student, Sara Price, who created the Positive Penguins app to help young children develop resilience. She has now sold 20,000 copies of her app. Dr Beekhuyzen says that the Tech Girl Superhero competition has been so successful because the app design process shows girls that technology is creative, telling Radio National: “I think STEM is naturally creative but we don’t associate it with that. It’s just making that really tangible, that creativity. Everyone uses mobile phones these days, and apps are in people’s hands all the time. So the fact that young girls can have their own app on the App Stores and have something really tangible that their friends can use is really exciting.”