Top female tech stars of the future crowned winners of new … – Evening Standard

Girls from across the country were invited to come up with tech solutions to everyday problems they encounter
The five winners of the TechGirl 2022 competition pose with their trophies
new competition to find future female tech stars has awarded its first set of prizes for ideas including a software system which tackles paper waste in schools and an app to make it easier to learn foreign languages.
Girls aged 16-18 from across England were invited to submit their ideas on how technology can be used to improve schools and education as part of the TechGirl 2022 competition.
They were encouraged to think critically about their own school experience to identify an important challenge facing the education system, and to think creatively about how technology can be used to solve that problem.
The competition, which was run by business community HotTopics, was won by five girls, who will receive ongoing mentorship from industry leaders and were presented with an award at a ceremony in London on Tuesday.
The mentors, Charlotte Baldwin, global CIO at Costa Coffee; Deborah Haworth, CISO at Penguin Random House UK, Jacqui Lipinski, CIO at Royal College of Art; Belinda Finch, CIO at Three UK; and Christina Scott, CPO & CTO at OVO Energy, were on hand to offer career advice, partake in a recorded interview with the winners, and offer them work experience in the future to help them kickstart their career in technology.
Gabriele Strimaityte, 17
Gabrielle submitted three ideas that could help solve the cost of living crisis using green energy, inspired by what she saw as wasted potential at her Staffordshire school.
She suggested solar panels could be used to produce electricity to power classrooms, that wind turbines could be erected on school fields, and installing recycling centres in schools could cut down on plastic waste.
“I’m really interested in how we can help schools become more eco,” she says. “Ultimately I’d like to become an architect, and help protect the environment through that.”
Poppy Skinner, 18
Poppy’s idea was to create a pain-free model of hearing aids for teenagers after suffering herself during the pandemic from having to wear glasses, a mask and a hearing aid simultaneously.
Her solution was to research how to develop a product using ergonomics, biopolymers and 3D modeling to create a more functional and comfortable prototype device to hold the hearing aid away from the ear, while still enabling it to function.
“I’d like to see this rolled out to the NHS, and particularly aimed at young people, who often don’t use assisted technology as much” she says.
Imogen Cooper, 17
Inspired by the ‘Everyone’s Invited’ movement, which encouraged students to talk anonymously about their experiences of sexual misconduct within schools, Imogen designed a safeguarding app which can be used to report issues to an administrator or school committee.
She wanted to create an app that appealed particularly to teenagers, and that could be used anonymously or with a name, to encourage people to report any wrongdoing.
“It would have multiple administrators so if you felt your complaint wasn’t being handled well then you could request another,” she explains.
“I wanted to make a safe space for people to talk.”
Precious Boateng, 17
Precious wanted to tackle the issue of wasting substantial amounts of paper in schools, and came up with the idea of creating a student digital pad.
This is an interactive software designed for A-Level students where they can access any work or notes taken at school from home.
Some of the features include voice recording important conversations with teachers, monitoring progress while informing teachers and parents, and setting timed exam questions.
“I wanted to do away with the need to carry around lots of notebooks and textbooks,” she says. “It would be great if something like this was eventually embedded in every desk in the country.”
Poppy Lenaghan, 17
Frustrated with how difficult she found learning a foreign language, Poppy came up with the idea to create a digital language software that will help students around the world learn different languages.
Her software can be used on iPads and tablets for ease of use, and includes features such as a drawing tool, video demonstrations and chat rooms, plus student activity can be monitored by teachers in real-time.
She said: “Other countries teach languages really well, but we don’t. I wanted to make it easier – I think if I had learned languages earlier then I would have been more motivated to continue.”
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