2018 was an important year for us – we launched the AI Family Challenge in 13 countries, reached more girls through Technovation than ever before, and helped Technovation students tell their story on Good Morning America. We helped demystify AI for students, families, and the general public through a series of public panels and debates, interviews, and created free curriculum in partnership with researchers and industry experts.
We’re proud of the work we’ve done this year, and more impressed than ever by the young people, families, educators, and community and corporate partners we work with who all tap into their courage to learn something new and create solutions to community problems.
As 2019 gets underway, we’ve been reflecting on our progress this past year (we ask our students to reflect on their work, so it’s only fair we do it too!) and the lessons we learned about our programs and their impact.
Our participants are ready to change the world. Every year Technovation students address the same Sustainable Development Goals that the UN asks world leaders to tackle – like health, the environment, education, and inequality. We want to make sure that they have the skills they need to keep working on them long after our programs end.
Preparing for the Future: Computational Thinking and 21st Century Skills
We equip students to solve the problems they care about most by teaching them basic technological literacy skills – and then having them apply those skills directly.
Technovation students develop a basic understanding of programming and improve their computational thinking skills. In partnership with MIT, we evaluated projects submitted in 2018 and found that students demonstrate development of key computational thinking skills.
Evaluations from MIT, WestEd and Oregon State University found that after participating in our programs, students are more self-confident, better problem solvers, better entrepreneurs, moreresilient, and more self-reliant. We even found that after continuous exposure (16 or more hours) to our programs, students perform better on standardized tests.
Getting Ready for the Future of Work: Professional Development for Mentors
Mentors are vital to our programs’ success, and we are committed to ensuring that their experience supporting girls and families is positive and enriching. In 2018, we engaged over 4,500 mentors in our programs.
Mentoring helps professionals develop the soft skills they can use to advance and adapt in their field. Before beginning the season, only 25% of Technovation mentors were confident in their ability to mentor a team. By the end of the season, 82% of mentors expressed confidence in their mentorship abilities.
- 66% felt they had improved at mentoring youth
- 50% improved at ideation (developing innovative ideas)
- 47% improved their team building skills
We anticipate that these skills will continue to increase in demand as professional development efforts focus on “soft skills” and lifelong learning initiatives in 2019 and beyond.
Take a look at our 2018 Year’s End infographic to learn more about what students and mentors learn and how they grow more prepared to solve big problems. You can also get a peek at what we think the top trends in Artificial Intelligence fields will be!