Apr 16

Technovation Challenge

A guest post by Theresa Russell (@chickengirl1976)

I entered a team of 5 girls into the Technovation Challenge in December 2012. They team is made up of Elisabeth (Year 8), Erin and Dione (Year 9) and Nicole and Aimee (Year 10). They worked with 2 mentors from Cisco to devise and create an app to help a community problem. Heidi is based in London and Silvia is based in San Jose. The girls talk to Heidi and Sivila via WebEx. 

We spent 2 the days in London, 1 day sightseeing and the 2nd day at Cisco HQ at Bedfont Lakes. We spoke to several employees with a variety of work histories/job experiences.

We spoke via TelePresence to staff in Switerland, New York and San Jose.

Aimee (15 year old)
The journey so far: “it has been an amazing journey so far and I have already learned a lot about I.T. and have learned many business skills in recent events. I think that having the opportunity to go to Cisco and use their recording studio to do our video pitch is amazing and I will never forget the experience for the rest of my life.” Attitudes about girls in IT: “I think that more girls should be in I.T. and that I.T could use another perspective on things”Thoughts about the competition: “I think this competition is a great experience and to get to the final would be amazing. This competition opened new and interesting ideas in the tech world”.Feelings about getting to San Francisco to the final: “to get to the final would be amazing and would be life changing, I have done anything as big as this and have never even been to America so it would be an incredible opportunity”Working with mentors: “Our mentor’s Heidi and Silvia are great and have helped us in every single way and we are very grateful for that. Without them none of this would have been possible so we owe them everything for that. I think without them we wouldn’t have the motivation or support to continue on with this as hard as we have been working.”Feelings about working with Silvia virtually: “I think that working with Silvia virtually has been interesting and different. At times it would be better to talk to her physically as the time difference is so great we don’t have long to talk.”Feelings/thoughts about the Cisco day in London: “The cisco day in London was really fun and also a really good experience as I got to see what it was like to meet people who work in an I.T and communications environment. I met lots of new people and learned about their lives and how they became to be in an I.T company.”

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