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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    School girls solve social problems with technology

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Sunday, September 03, 2017

    School girls solve social problems with technology

    Teams of school girls aged from 7 to 17 have shown off their tech smarts in Brisbane today (Sunday) at a competition designed to solve social problems with technology.

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said see was "thrilled to see" the number of Queensland girls - and from around Australia - participating in the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero competition's showcase event at QUT’s Gardens Point campus.

    “The Tech Girls Movement began in 2014 with 18 participants in the competition. This year, the competition attracted more than 1000 participants from around Australia, double the number from last year," Ms Enoch said.

    “Every participant in the Tech Girls Movement is a superhero as far as I am concerned, and will be role models to encourage other young women towards a learning and career path in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

    “Increasing the number of girls and women involved in STEM-related learning and career development must be a state and national priority, as the bulk of the knowledge jobs and innovative breakthroughs in the future will require STEM skills.”

    The Tech Girls Movement secured $20,000 through the Advance Queensland Young Starters Fund to stage this year's event.

    The Palaszczuk Government’s flagship $420 million Advance Queensland initiative is a comprehensive suite of programs designed to ensure Queensland’s capacity to adapt and thrive in a period of rapid change, and position the State as the place to turn great ideas into reality.

    Ms Enoch, who announced the national finalists from the competition during the event, said the entries provided a snapshot of "some key concerns young people have in our society".

    "These are issues like bullying at school, healthy eating choices and caring for our environment,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Primary School State winning team from the Gold Coast's Pacific Pines Primary School, for example, has created an app to encourage sun safety in a fun way, and they even created a partnership with the Cancer Council in their school holidays.

    “The team from Indooroopilly's Brigidine College, our Secondary School State winning team has designed an app to assist teenage students in relieving the effects of stress, depression and low-esteem that may be associated with school, social media, family, peers and other pressures.

    “My hope is that these girls will carry this wonderful experience with them to become our highly skilled knowledge workers and tech entrepreneurs of the future.”

    Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero is the signature campaign of the Tech Girls Movement, founded by Brisbane-based researcher and author Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen.

    Her books Tech Girls Are Superheroes, Volumes 1 and 2, use real-life female STEM role models to inspire female primary and secondary school students to change the world with technology.

    “School teams work with a female industry mentor over 12 weeks to identify a social problem in their community and then design and build an app to solve it,” Dr Beekhuyzen said.

    “The key to the competition is young people solving young people's problems. At the end of the 12 weeks, the teams pitch their idea on YouTube, prepare a business plan and develop a working prototype of their app.

    “The showcase is a great opportunity for the students to share their apps with each other and meet some of the Tech Girls from previous years."

    ENDS

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