International STEM education nonprofit and the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) will develop curriculum and empower young problem solvers to take on the world’s most critical challenge
LOS ANGELES, May 18—Technovation, a global STEM education nonprofit unlocking the problem-solving power of girls, today announced a significant partnership with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). The partnership will include the development of innovative new curriculum for Technovation participants to leverage the latest Space and AI technologies for climate action.
According to a report from the National Intelligence Council, shared global challenges like climate change will likely become more frequent and more intense over the next 20 years. The impact of these challenges is expected to fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable populations around the world — especially women and girls. Thus, empowering girls, even at a young age, to learn and engage is an essential preventative step toward tackling this most critical global challenge.
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A new generation of young girls are taking on the mantra of “ecopreneur,” an entrepreneur focused on creating environmentally-friendly solutions that value people AND our planet. In 2020, 20 percent of all Technovation participants addressed environmental issues, making it the second-most popular category of problem girls chose to address. It was also the second-most popular problem teams chose to solve in 2019, 2018, and 2017. Over 1,400 girls created apps related to the environment, like Blue Duck: Albufera from Spain (2020 regional winners), ClimAx from Nigeria and Ecotopia from the U.S.
Technovation is committed to helping participants develop impactful solutions to issues like climate change, and the partnership with UNOOSA will provide Technovation participants access to additional resources on climate change and climate datasets derived from space applications, as well as mentorship on using this data effectively to tackle such complex issues.
“The events of the last year have not just exposed but actually exacerbated the many complex problems we face as a global community, reinforcing the urgent need to develop stronger problem solvers who can tackle them,” said Tara Chklovski, CEO & Founder, Technovation. “With support from our partners, our new climate and AI initiatives will help girls from under-resourced communities around the world access the knowledge, skills and community capital they’ll need to help create a more resilient, equitable world.”
UNOOSA has long recognized women’s and young people’s positive contributions as agents of change, launching both the Space4Youth and Space4Women projects. These initiatives support the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), understanding that women and the world’s youth have a critical role to play in realizing a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future. As part of the new partnership with Technovation, UNOOSA will share insights on space-based datasets on climate action, including satellite images, with Technovation Girls students, and Technovation will work with experts from UNOOSA and other partners to build curricular resources that guide students on ways to incorporate those datasets into their projects. Technovation will also offer additional training to students and volunteers on using datasets specifically for climate action. These additions to the curriculum will be created during the fall of 2021 for the 2022 program season.
Simonetta Di Pippo, Director of UNOOSA, said: “UNOOSA and Technovation share important common goals, such as building capacity with regards to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) among girls and advancing the use of space-based data to create innovative solutions to development problems. With this MoU, we are ready to work together to integrate space-based information into this year’s Technovation activities, inspiring young minds to look to the potential of space to lift humanity.”
Ultimately, organizations must go beyond just providing content knowledge to girls; they must also build their motivation, their capabilities, and their sense of agency. This new partnership between Technovation and UNOOSA will do just that.
Individuals and corporate partners can learn more about volunteer mentoring throughout the year and sponsorship opportunities at www.technovation.org/community-partners/.
Technovation is a global tech education nonprofit that empowers girls to become more confident leaders, creators and problem-solvers. Technovation offers interactive learning programs in which girls ages 8-18 and adults in their community learn how to use AI and app-based technologies to solve real-world problems. Technovation partners with leading organizations like UNESCO and UN Women, and with mentors from companies like Google, NVIDIA and Adobe to reach girls in more than 100 countries. To learn more, visit technovation.org.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) works to promote international cooperation in the peaceful use and exploration of space, and in the utilisation of space science and technology for sustainable economic and social development. The Office assists any United Nations Member States to establish legal and regulatory frameworks to govern space activities and strengthens the capacity of all countries, particularly developing countries, to use space science technology and applications for development.
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