Northern Girls in Technology

Northern Girls in Tech

Northern Girls in Tech

Project Number: 4

Project Title: Northern Girls in Tech

Start date of Project: August 27 2018

Completion date: September 14 2018

Number of participants: 15

Description

Northern Girls in Tech was a 3-week computer programming camp organized to expose female rising juniors and seniors in high school to technology and possible college and career opportunities in the sector. It took place in Kano, Nigeria and impacted 15 girls.

Objective

The purpose of this project was to further empower the girl child in a sector where female representation is lacking. With technology being a leading sector in our world today, it is important that women are also creators  and contributors to the growth of the sector. More specifically, SOWAfrica took this project to Kano, a state where a huge percentage of the girls are still being prevented from going to school and exploring career opportunities of their choice.  

Programming

The camp spanned over three weeks.

Weekly Break-down

Week 1: This week focused on introduction to technology. The facilitators explained the place and importance of technology in our society and why it is necessary to have them be  influencers of this trend. On the practical end, the students were introduced to computers and Microsoft Office products (Word, Powerpoint and Excel).

Week 2: This week  ushered in web programming. The students began with HTML, understanding tags and how to create a simple webpage. Due to their collective ability to quickly grasp the material, the instructor progressed to CSS the same week, teaching them to design their web pages in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. By the end of week 2, the students were designing forms, linking pages and inserting images on their sites.

Week 3: In this week, they learned how to make all they had designed interactive through Javascript. By the end of the program our students were effectively designing functional webpages and even calculators.

Impact

At the beginning of the program, SOWAfrica surveyed the 14 students to get a sense of their background in technology, comfort level in understanding and operating technology products and other metrics. From our data gathered, we observed that initially, while up to 80% of the students were familiar with technology products (Microsoft Office and Programming Languages), their understanding of said products functionalities and how they worked was only at 23%. By the end of the program, all students clearly understood the functions of the above technology products and how to perform the basic functions of the products. With very minimal typing and computer utilization prior to their the program, confidence level operating technology in the classroom soared by 57% over the course of the three weeks. This was measured by their ability to carry out tasks with minimal help from facilitators as well as the speed and accuracy while performing given tasks. Finally, based on the results of the assessment carried out at the end of the program, our participants averaged 72% with the highest score being 93% and the lowest being 58%. We are very proud of the girls who knew nothing about the concept of programming and its practicality for their ability to quickly process and analyze all they had been taught and produce such results after only three weeks of learning.

Follow Up

After the program, we collected the information of our project participants. We have built a community of girls who are now aware of the various opportunities in technology, how to use and create products and might possibly follow this path career wise. SOWAfrica will serve as a resource to our project participants to the best of its capacity as they begin their college journey and eventually their career.

Feedback

While, the participants learned a lot a valuable information, the school is currently not equipped with the necessary technology for them to continue learning programming efficiently. To mitigate this problem, SOWAfrica donated five (5) laptops to the school in order for the girls to continue their learning after the conclusion of the program.

Olufunlola Bakare