We headed up north in March for a STEMtastic weekend in Newcastle with DXC Technology! On Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd, DXC Technology hosted 47 girls and young women for a 2-day hackathon Stemettes style!

After some icebreakers, the girls knuckled down to work on their apps using HTML, AppShed and App Inventor. Since it was almost Internation women’s day, the brief was to create apps relating to women in technology. From Florence Nightingale to Ada Lovelace, the girls got stuck in researching and coding to create incredible apps. Once our app designers were finished, they got ready to present to their peers. Our judges were blown away by how confident the girls were and how innovative their apps were!

We spoke to Miranda Webb, Advisor Capability Development Lead at DXC Technology about the event:

What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by being ‘the change you want to see’ and filling the office with female tech specialists.  Energy levels were set to maximum and we challenged the girls to create an App showcasing inspirational women.  It isn’t often that you’ll be part of a conversation discussing Marie Curie, Ariana Grande and Florence Nightingale at the same time, it was fantastic!  The advanced coding club was a busy one in Newcastle, it really was incredible that the girls pushed themselves further outside of their comfort zone and learnt more about HTML.   It also was awesome to see one of the Mums creating their own App too by taking advantage of our free training to understand the basics of computer programming language, which will undoubtedly help to support her daughter in the future.  I was blown away by team Code Red’s app to bring young women together in an information sharing and support forum for girls during their menstrual cycle.  They inspired me to get involved with The Red Box Project to help end period poverty.  That’s one of the great things about mentoring at events like these, you learn lots too!

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Mia and Saima, who created an app based on Florence Nightingale called ‘Nurse Nightingale’ said:

Mia:
I enjoyed it very much and it was a learning experience. It has changed my perspective of STEM and I would love to do it again. It was an amazing part of my week and if I had a choice, I would do STEM.

Saima:
On the 2nd and 3rd of March, we went to Cobalt Business Park to take part in a Stemettes event. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge we had which was to create an app that would help someone but also had something to with inspirational women. At the end of the weekend, the judges picked a winner and as we won we got a trophy and a micro bit. I would definitely do another stemettes event in the future.

In terms of impact…

  • Attendees rated the day 9.1 out of 10 overall
  • 89% had increased STEM confidence
  • 87% had an increased positive perception of STEM careers
  • 93% had an increased STEM network
  • 100% improved their ability to carry out project work

One of attendee commented that: ‘Everyone was brilliant, thank you so much for the opportunity. We will definitely be looking to continue app designing at home and improve our skills’. Another girl had a message to the volunteers from DXC Technology: ‘Thank you all for helping us out and showing us what STEM is all about.’

A round of applause for DXC Technology for once again partnering with us to create such a fantastic event! To keep up-to-date on our upcoming events, head to our Eventbrite!

We captured all the fun on our Flickr!

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