Looking to encourage youth to create campaigns for blood drives or hair donations supporting cancer patients in Mexico? Want to play a video game that educates kids on healthy eating habits in Brazil? Or, how about a program that uses GPS to provide girls walking alone with safety measures in Romania?
There’s an app for each of these real-world issues and more, built by Technovation participants as part of its global competition for girls to solve real-world problems using technology.
Since 2015, Oracle has supported Technovation through our Giving and Volunteering programs, enabling the organization to reach almost 3,000 more girls and families in under-resourced communities where Oracle employees live and work.
Teams of girls, ages 8 to 18, work with volunteer mentors to identify a problem, use technology to develop a solution, and pitch their idea to panels of expert judges. Girls not only learn technical skills in coding and artificial intelligence, but apply those skills to solve real-world problems, all while building their critical-thinking and entrepreneurial abilities. In 2021, nearly 6,000 girls from over 60 countries created apps to solve the problems they care about most.
“We support Technovation because increasing opportunities for women in technology starts with investing in tech education for girls,” says Colleen Cassity, vice president of Oracle Corporate Citizenship. “Technovation also provides meaningful opportunities for Oracle employees to get involved as mentors. Over 500 Oracle Volunteers have engaged with the organization in the last few years.”
One such employee is Laura Aguilar, Principal Member of Technical Staff, who has volunteered with Technovation since 2014. Empowering the next generation is at the heart of why she mentors.
“I want young girls to know that they can be engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders,” says Laura, who worked with a team of girls who created an app to help people find their lost pets. Her team worked with local rescue organizations that lacked websites or mobile technology to create a database of rescued pets.
For Laura, volunteering with Technovation has been a two-way street of knowledge-building.
“I learned from the girls as much as they learned from me,” notes Laura. “In the past I would think some girls were not interested in engineering, but in reality they had no exposure to engineering. Technovation is changing that by providing girls a fun, hands-on experience with technology.”
Among Technovation alumnae, 76% pursue STEM degrees and 60% work in STEM-related careers, more than double the percentage of US women working in STEM. To further their impact, the organization constantly innovates their programs. They recently added a new beginner’s division for girls as young as eight, with age-appropriate curriculum.
“Technovation is changing the face of technical fields one team, competition, and pitch at a time, and we’re excited to support them on that journey,” says Colleen.
For more information about volunteering with or supporting Technovation, check out the Technovation website or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Oracle’s investment in the community by reading our Corporate Citizenship Report.