Tech Pioneers in the Making: the Girls Learning to Shape Our Future with TinyML

March 13, 2023 | 3 minute read
Ashley Sullivan
Senior Manager, Oracle Education Foundation
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Oracle Education Foundation


“Running on cheap microcontrollers with tiny batteries and low power consumption means that, using TinyML, one can easily integrate Machine Learning into virtually anything for cheap.” – All About Circuits


It’s Women’s History Month and the Oracle Education Foundation's newest class, TinyML, is in full swing in Austin, Texas. Groups of Oracle Volunteers and 11th grade students from the Ann

Two girls working with TinyML

Richards School for Young Women Leaders excitedly brainstorm how they could use Tiny Machine Learning to solve complex challenges related to food.


Dr. Abigail Joseph, Oracle Education Foundation lead instructor, calls the groups back together to share their most promising ideas with the class. By examining current trends and signals of change related to food, the students have identified future challenges that will need to be solved. These young women are determined to use their new knowledge of TinyML to make the world a better place, starting with food.


One group plans to reduce energy costs for dairy farmers. Another is on a mission to help consumers understand the additives in food. A third group intends to tackle the issue of food waste. All using TinyML. With Dr. Joseph at the helm, and the Oracle Volunteers serving as coaches, these students are not only building valuable technology skills, they’re also building confidence in their ability to solve problems they see in the world.


Ann Richards School teacher, Oren Connell, was excited to invite the Oracle Education Foundation into his classroom so that his students could learn to apply electronics and machine learning to the world they live in. He was also eager for his students to interact with technology professionals—the Oracle Volunteers who would be coaching the students along with Dr. Joseph. 11th grader, Colette, sees the merit of both: “There is a lot of value in having the Oracle Volunteers work with us and learn with us about TinyML. By opening up discussions about our future and the future of our food—in the context of solving a problem using TinyML—we've been exposed to ideas and problems that we might never have considered.”


Oracle Volunteer with a group of three students

While the students work on prototyping their solutions, Katherine Lesak, an Oracle Volunteer and professional Functional Consultant, reflects on her experience working with students: “Volunteering in the Oracle Education Foundation’s class has been such a fun and rewarding experience. I’ve loved learning a new technology right alongside the girls. I chose to volunteer because I want girls to feel strong and enabled, and that it's okay to try something new that you don't know much about. At the end of the day, I want them to have fun learning in this judgment-free zone and to feel confident in thinking outside of the box." 


As the semester unfolds, the students will refine their prototype solutions by testing, receiving feedback from Oracle Volunteers, and iterating. As with every good engineering problem, we don’t know what form the students’ solutions will ultimately take, but we do know that these girls are cultivating professional relationships, building confidence, and engaging in powerful design work. As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's inspiring to see the next generation of female changemakers taking risks, learning new skills, and steering the world toward a more positive future. Oracle Education Foundation and Oracle Volunteers are proud to offer support every step of the way.



Oracle Education Foundation, a nonprofit funded by Oracle and staffed by Oracle employees, helps young people develop the technical skills and creative confidence to design solutions for people and the world. To learn more about Oracle Education Foundation’s program, visit or reach out to


A group of students and Oracle Volunteer


Ashley Sullivan

Senior Manager, Oracle Education Foundation

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