Technovations introduces coding to girls

Club gears up for the new year of developing apps


Juniors Sophia Davenport, Ilsa Olsen and Caroline Garland gather to discuss their plan for the coming Technovations year. They work for 12 weeks during the school year before presenting their app in May.

Amaia Barajas

As junior Caroline Garland readies herself for the coming year of Technovations MN, she said she recognizes the importance the club has for women.

“(Technovations is) important because women are very underrepresented in this field, and it’s something that lots of women are discouraged in pursuing because they feel like they’ll be alone in the field or that something else will be a better fit for them,” Garland said.

According to the Technovation MN website, Technovations is a national program that encourages high school girls to get involved with coding. Club members work throughout 12 weeks of the school year before presenting their app in May to a panel of judges. Club members are judged on originality, business pitch and programming.

According to adviser Mark Miller, the success of Technovations last year sparked enough interest for students to return this year.

“I think from their experience last year, all of the girls who participated last year came back this year. So I think that kind of speaks for itself that they enjoyed the program,” Miller said. “It’s a good opportunity to put together business and technology and working with outside people to work through an interesting problem.”

New member, junior Greta Long, said the club introduces new skills to young girls that has not always been available for them.

“I think sometimes (coding) is a subject that gets male dominated, so exposing girls early to it helps even out of the field and gives them an experience, even if it’s not something you want to go into,” Long said.

While Technovations members haven’t decided on what apps to create this year, Garland said last year they developed an app that helped prevent violence.

“Last year we created an app that was designed for personal safety. It was basically an app where you’re able to discreetly call the police and your attacker doesn’t know you’re calling the police,” Garland said.

Miller believes Technovations helps young women get involved in an area that has been male-dominated in the past.

“I think it’s important,” Miller said. “Technovations Minnesota knows that we need more females in engineering and technology than we have. I think it’s extremely important to let girls know that they’re more than capable of doing this.”

Technovations meets after school at 3:30 p.m. every Tuesday in room B136.