Teen-Turn launches girls in STEM afterschool programme 2019
Teen-Turn, which was the EU wide digital impact organisation of the year 2017, connects girls from DEIS secondary schools with STEM role models from Ireland’s leading companies through hands-on learning activities in order to tackle the deficit of young women in STEM careers and promote social inclusion.
Today Teen-Turn launched its 2019 after school programme at The Digital Hub, with 200 girls and as many as 200 mentors expected to participate in the coming year. Teen-Turn mentors are female engineers, data scientists, technology architects and senior managers in leading companies including multinationals Intel, IBM, Murex and Zendesk.
The girls, who come from DEIS schools throughout Ireland, are given the opportunity to experience firsthand what it is to work on science and technology projects mentored by female role models for thirteen-week after school sessions every spring and autumn.
Teen-Turn believe that more girls, from areas where third level education is uncommon, exploring and gaining an interest in science and technology will lead to more women earning these qualifications, thus meeting the current demand for STEM skills.
The participants will be learning from their mentors and doing a number of activities throughout the year comprising of researching and developing projects for science fairs like SciFest and BT Young Scientist as well as creating social enterprises and developing apps as part of Technovation.
Technovation, a flagship program of non-profit Iridescent, is the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls. The program offers girls around the world the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Every year, Technovation challenges girls 10 to 18 years old to build a business plan and mobile app that will address a community problem. In 2018, close to 20,000 girls registered from across 115 countries.
Fiach Mac Conghail, Chief Executive Office at The Digital Hub, said: “We are delighted to support Teen Turn in their work promoting STEM careers amongst teenage girls. At The Digital Hub we are seeing the growth in technology companies and, with that growth comes increasing demand for these skills. It is essential to give young girls every opportunity to work with and see female mentors achieving success in the high growth, high tech space. The Technovation programme is a really practical way to do just that, so these young students can see themselves working in these roles in the future.”
The girls will also have the opportunity to join nearly 100 others who gain work experience in STEM career environments during Teen-Turn’s summer placements in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
Teen-Turn aims to influence course decision-making processes, inform participants on education and career options, and combat stereotypes by strategically changing how girls from underrepresented communities identify with STEM career environments through summer work placements and after school activities. Teen-Turn has an advisory board, is a fully volunteer led organisation and a registered charity (CRA RCN 20157739). Teen-Turn is a Social Innovation Fund Engage & Educate awardee.