Technovation Challenge Team Lead/Mentor Orientation


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Orientation for team leads/mentors as they prepare to guide their teams through the 12 week Technovation Challenge course

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  • Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) is a consortium of dedicated partners that has joined IIE to design and support a series of innovative activities to provide training, build networks and offer professional opportunities. WeTech helps women and girls enter and succeed in technology careers, with the goal of enhancing women’s talent and skills needed to fuel technological and economic growth.Clinton Global Initiative 2013.Core Activities and GoalsIn the first phase of WeTech will:1. Develop innovative and hands-on afterschool programs for secondary school girls in the U.S. and India, connecting them with role models and mentors in the tech sector, as well as hard skills such as mobile app development.2. Establish a network of women engineering students in India who will gain access to scholarships, internships and leadership development.3. Build a mentoring platform that will create a virtual community, connecting leading women in technology with university women as they transition from their studies into the tech workforce.4. Launch the WeTech Seed Fund for Women + Girls in Computer Science in Africa that will award 30-50 small grants to individual women or NGOs to support and expand ongoing events and trainings for women and girls to raise their access to training and information on computer science-related studies and jobs.
  • In Technovation, girls work in teams to develop innovative mobile apps that solve problems in their local communities. Girls are supported by an advisor at their school or community site, as well as women mentors from the technology industry who teach them the basics of coding, user-interface design, market research and entrepreneurship. The program culminates in a World Pitch event each spring, where regional finalists compete to win $5000/ 10,000 in funding for their app.Please note that the girls are expected to create the app on App Inventor platform. App Inventor is a use friendly platform and girls with no prior tech experience can work on this platform with ease. However, if the girls have knowledge of another app platform, the team can mutually decide on using the alternative. Please note that the girls are expected to create the app on App Inventor platform. App Inventor is a use friendly platform and girls with no prior tech experience can work on this platform with ease. However, if the girls have knowledge of another app platform, the team can mutually decide on using the alternative. Choose your school/team by February 7, 2014 – WeTech program manager will contact the team leads with the names of schools registered for TC. The team leads will share their top three choices in order of priority and we’ll try to match them based on their priority. However, given the overlap in priorities and other issues, we can’t commit that you’ll be match with your top choice. Assigning teams to mentors: We’ll try our best to assign you the preferred team but no assurances. The team session on Inauguration Day will be an opportunity for the team leads to get the girls, work on a tentative calendar and decide on how the team would communicate between the meetingsDiscuss calendar with teams: Refer to slides 11-13 App themes for 2014 - these are general suggestions from TC but the teams are free to create apps for other compelling ideas
  • this hyperlink is for the detailed TC curriculum available online
  • Lead by example be an active mentor – You are the project manager and leader for your team. Your leadership skills will keep the girls on track and enable them to meet deadlines Manage team dynamics – a challenge for you can be working with different personalities- some students may be shy and other talkative. Try to establish “three-then-me” rule where each time a person talks she listens to three other people speak before speaking againStay neutral during discussion – At times you may experience tension ot arguing in the group. Manage conflict when they appear by helping each student share her concerns and feel heard without taking sides. While girls are brainstorming ideas, encourage them to make their own decisions and decide things by consensus whenever possibleShare your expertise – We encourage mentors to bring their own skills and talents into the mix. Share your skills in the context of team discussions and expose students to real projects through your conversationsBe a role model- As your team’s mentor, you are giving each student a window into your industry and what it is to be a women in that field. Get to know the girls, share your story with them, tell them about your career journey, your challenges and how you overcame themProvide one-on-one interaction- Get to know each girl so that they feel connected and supported by you. Discuss their career goals and inspire them to explore opportunitiesEncourage and inspire – Hearing you say: “I think you are really good at problem solving. Have you ever considered becoming an engineer?” is one of the most transformative experiences a girl can have in school. Hearing your feedback and encouragement about her strengths might just change her life.
  • Technovation Challenge Team Lead/Mentor Orientation

    2. 2. WELCOME TEAM LEADS! • Thanks for your interest in Technovation Challenge (TC) • This is an opportunity to inspire girls to see themselves as technology designers and entrepreneurs • As you prepare to lead your teams through Technovation, here are few suggestions to help you prepare for the exciting weeks ahead!
    3. 3. GETTING STARTED • Browse the curriculum: • Watch TC videos from past competitions: and mentor training video - • Choose your team by February 7, 2014. The WeTech team will share names of schools who have registered and you can communicate your top three choices (in order of preference) to Megha Bhagat – • Meet your team on Hack Day – February 8, 2014. RSVP at to help us plan ahead • Plan for team meeting session on Hack Day (4-4:30 pm) • Think about an ice breaker exercise for team meeting session - sample Icebreakers on slide 10 • Discuss the calendar with teams or reps for scheduling 12 sessions. Refer to slides 11-13 • App themes for 2014 –  Creating apps for local organizations  Teen issues (suicide, peer pressure, teen pregnancy, etc.)  Women’s issues (domestic violence, security under-representation in political and economic sectors)  Others
    4. 4. TECHNOVATION CHALLENGE COURSE Identify a problem, create an app to solve it, code the app, build a company to launch the app in the market, and pitch the plan to experts ---- all in 12 weeks • Week 1: Introduction to Technovation Challenge and brainstorming app ideas • Week 2: Market Research – understanding the market and how your app is unique • Week 3: User--Centered Design – making sure your app is easy to use • Week 4: Incorporating Feedback – getting feedback on your app, and learning how to implement it • Week 5: Entrepreneurship – learning the basics in business • Week 6: Business Plan – developing a comprehensive plan for your company • Week 7: Career Exploration – discovering the possibilities of a career in technology • Week 8: Creating Engaging PowerPoint presentations – learning how to create an engaging PowerPoint that you will use to present your app • Week 9: Project Submission Guidelines – understanding the final deliverable and preparing for submission • Week 10: Effective Presentations -learning aspects of a strong pitch • Week 11: Pitch Coaching -practicing delivering an informative, concise pitch • Week 12: Reflection, Wrap-Up and Post-Survey – sharing reflections about the program and completion the post-survey
    5. 5. PROJECT DELIVERABLES • Make sure that all students on your team have registered, responded to presurvey and parents have signed the waivers: • Team registrations are due by March 1, 2014: • Schedule the first meeting of your team by the last week of February to ensure that your team is registered • Teams need to complete course work (12 sessions) to be eligible for the final pitch • The deadline for submitting the final app idea and video pitch is April 26, 5pm PST • Share exciting updates and photos of team meetings with WeTech team • Share your TC experience (survey link to be shared soon)
    6. 6. LOGISTICS • Reach out to WeTech program manager, Megha Bhagat ( ) for any support during the Technovation Challenge • Technovation Challenge is offered in 12 sessions. Each session is for 2 hours and it is ideal to schedule one session for each meeting. If your team agrees you may combine two sessions • Think about refreshments during the sessions • Each team will receive a laptop and mobile phone to create and test their apps • Teams can decide on safely storing the equipment at the school or another meeting facility • Each school will assign a TC coach for the girls and you can discuss equipment and scheduling issues with him/her • Meeting venue – teams can either meet at the school or travel to any convenient location, including the Goldman/Qualcomm office • Decide on team communication logistics – email, phone calls, group chat (Whatsapp), Facebook group or any others • Arrange for flip charts, sticky notes and markers for teams to brainstorm and exchange ideas
    7. 7. ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES • Lead by example be an active mentor • Manage team dynamics • Stay neutral during discussion • Share your expertise • Be a role model • Provide one-on-one interaction • Encourage and inspire
    8. 8. INSPIRE AND HAVE FUN! • Mentor young girls to develop the confidence and skills for choosing STEM careers • Through Technovation help girls emerge as problem solvers and leaders • Enhance your mentoring skills and emerge as a role model
    9. 9. RESOURCES • Here are few resources and links to help you prepare for the Technovation Challenge meetings  Suggestions for ice-breakers: refer to slide 10  Calendar for scheduling TC meetings: refer to slide 11-13  TC Student Workbook:  Mentor training video:  Link to register your teams:  App Inventor introduction and tutorial - and
    10. 10. SAMPLE ICEBREAKERS • • • • • Postcard halves: Allocate half the number of postcards as the total number of participants. Cut each card in half using zig-zag scissors or making a zig-zig cut. Mix up the cards & distribute a half to each participant. Participants must then try to find their partner (the person whose card matches up with theirs). Each partner interviews the other; then, all participants present their partners to the rest of the group. Famous Person on your back: Put post-its or sticky notes with the name of a famous person written on the back of each participant. Ask participants to walk around and as they do, their fellow participants should try to act out or mime something which helps them to guess who they have on their back. When they do guess, they can interview the person who helped them figure it out. Then, all participants present their partners to the rest of the group. If I had a million Rupees: Ask participants to introduce themselves by giving their name, grade/standard in school, expectation for the challenge, how they would spend a million Rupees if they won such an amount. You can make a small bill and write "one million Rupees" and pass this around as a prop. Dream trip: Same as above, but instead of how they would spend the money, where would they go on their "Dream Trip". Deserted on an island: Ask participants to introduce themselves and as they do, tell their fellow participants what they would want to have with them if they were deserted on an island.