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US Bank, Target support STEM Career access for girls

Asiya Mohamud (left) and Aminah Ali conversing during Technovation[MN]

Some 250 middle school and high school girls converged at the Minneapolis Convention Center last month to compete at the 4th annual Technovation[MN] Appapalooza: “Inspiring STEM Careers in MN Girls.”

The future of STEM, (kneeling left to right) Katie Mendez Cruz, Deysi Sanisaca, Catherine Gonzalez, Tatiana Loja, Itzel Gonzalez, Giselle Ortiz Saguilan and Gwendolyn Yuquilema Acero (standing, left to right) Sameya Ran, Asiya Mohamud Aminah Ali, Miske Salad, Clare Dixon, Prapthi Sirrkay, Nora, Dixon, Ashley Chen, Sonja Pierson, Sarah Crowley, Sophie Boes, Bacthy Nguyen, Gabby Willaert, Gabby Schimnich and Olivia Skogen.

Appapalooza is Technovation[MN]’s Regional Pitch Event of Technovation, a global technical entrepreneurship program. In total, 63 teams presented their apps at Appapalooza.

The top eight teams are entered in the semifinals, which are judged remotely, for the chance to compete in the finals this August in San Francisco.

Shawn Stavseth, co-founder and board chair of Technovation[MN] said, “The Technovation program connects tech-industry professionals with educators and teams of students for weekly sessions to teach and guide them through the creation of business plans, product management, coding, marketing and entrepreneurial skills. Technovation[MN] is operated by a volunteer board of directors and supported by leading corporations and businesses in Minnesota including: U.S. Bank, Amazon, PeopleNet and Target.”

(Left to right) Itzel Gonzalez, Gwendolyn Yuquilema Acero, Tatiana Loja and Giselle Ortiz Saguilan during their presentation at Technovation[MN].

“I learned a lot of things about coding, like technical terms, such as booleans and loops. And I learned about the process. It’s easy as long as you know what you are doing,” said Ashley Chen, an 8th grader at Dakota Hills Middle School in Eagan. “I’d like to thank everyone who helped us and put in all the time and effort.”

“Most careers these days require knowledge of some kind of STEM. If you are super knowledgeable about STEM, the options are endless,” said Clare Dixon, a 6th grader at Dakota Hills.

This spring, teams of three to five girls aged 10-18 from 32 schools in the Twin Cities and Rochester areas designed and built mobile apps that aim to solve a problem in their community. Apps focused on one of six UN Sustainable development goals … poverty, the environment, peace, equality, education or health.

June 12, 2017
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