“Creativity is the secret sauce to science, technology, engineering and math." - Ainissa Ramirez, award-winning scientist and science communicator
At TWF, we know digital literacy and STEM skills are not optional for the future workforce. COVID-19 has only magnified the critical role that technology serves in our lives. From our research, we also know that girls have less confidence and support as well as fewer opportunities in applying and mastering these skills. This is compounded by other factors like socio-economic background, and teacher and parental support. This is why opportunities like our first-ever virtual Hackathon, as part of our Girls Go Tech (GGT) Programme co-organised by Bloomberg, are so important and provide a direct means for participants to understand how their tech skills can immediately help society.
Our virtual Hackathon concluded last Saturday. Over the course of three weeks, 60 GGT participants - divided into 15 student teams - joined a series of virtual workshops and self-directed learning courses. Students learned how to use app-builder Thunkable and how to create different types of AI application elements including pronunciation correction, translation, and image recognition.
Each team utilised what they learned to develop a unique mobile app aimed at solving an everyday problem arising from COVID-19, with advice and support from Bloomberg volunteers. These ideas were then pitched to a panel of judges who selected three winning projects.
We couldn’t be more proud of the creativity, collaboration, and innovation demonstrated by the final apps each team created. Here are some highlights (please follow our GGT Instagram for more updates):
SafetyBuddy – Your COVID-19 Activity Advisor (Gold Award): Based on user information, the app provides optimised suggestions on fun activities to engage in and checks whether the specified outdoor activity is safe to carry out under current health precautions. If yes, the AI advisor will inform the user of the safest place to carry out this activity. If not, the app will suggest safer alternatives.
The Hungry Traveler (Silver Award): For people unused to cooking at home, this app identifies and shares information about the ingredients users have at home and recommends recipes based on these ingredients.
Maskabase (Bronze Award): This app tracks the number of masks users have and how many masks the household uses each day. Based on this information, it calculates when the household will need to restock and sends audio reminders.
Your Emotion Friend (Best Social Impact Award): This app is designed to talk through user’s thoughts and emotional challenges encountered during the pandemic. Based on the conversations, the app will generate updates to send to your social worker. This app also provides inspiring quotes and pictures to help users cope with increased anxiety.
Emo’ Diary (Netizen’s Choice Award; Best Presentation Award): The app allows users to record their feelings and emotions, and recommends Canto-pop songs and quotes that match these emotions. The app also provides a to-do list to help users allocate their time better.
Participants gave glowing feedback about how much they valued learning more about AI and coding, the sense of community that came from shared goals and working in a team, and the experience, insights and advice from volunteers. A warm congratulations to all the participants and our deep thanks to Bloomberg, their volunteers, and to the judges for their time and support.
Get in touch at Fiona.Nott@twfhk.org.