We’re so glad you’re part of Technovation Girls this season! We can’t wait to learn more about your ideas for a better, safer, fairer world. But if you recently registered and are wondering how to get there from here, we’ve got you covered!This blog post breaks down the first steps to take in your Technovation journey to start from a solid foundation. (And if you’re reading this but haven’t registered yet — go register now!)

A Quick Overview of Starting your Technovation Girls Journey

Everyone’s Technovation journey looks a little different based on how your chapter runs the program; how your team chooses to divide up work; how familiar you are with coding, marketing, or business; and of course, what community problem you choose to solve. But as different as individual Technovation Girls journeys are, they all start out very similarly.

Your first Technovation steps will look something like this…

  1. You register on my.technovationchallenge.org. (this means (a) you create a profile, (b) your parent or guardian signs the consent form, and (c) you sign the honor code).
  2. You join or build a team.
  3. You find a mentor and connect with your local Technovation community. A mentor is not required to participate, but teams who have a mentor tell us they learn more from the program, and find it easier to complete their projects. You can also get support from your local chapter ambassador or club ambassador who will connect you with your local technovation girls community!
  4. You review the Technovation Girls timeline and make sure you have a plan to get everything done in time to submit.
  5. You jump into the curriculum and get ready to help your community!

Let’s look at each of those steps in more detail:

Check your registration

Make sure you’re fully registered — which includes making sure your parent or guardian signed your consent form.

In order to participate, you need to register on my.technovationchallenge.org. You will create a profile that allows you to access program resources like the curriculum, create or join a team, find a mentor, and submit your project.

You can jump in and start learning right away, but please double check to make sure that your parent or guardian signs the consent form. Without a signed parental consent form, your registration is considered incomplete.

About the parent consent form

When you registered for Technovation Girls, we asked you for your parent or guardian’s email address and sent them an online consent form. Your parent or guardian needs to sign and return that form to us in order for your registration to be complete. 

Instructions on how to sign the form are in the email we sent to your parent or guardian — if they can’t find the email, ask them to check their promotion and spam folders. You can also re-send the consent form (or submit a paper form) by following these instructions.

You’ll know whether or not your consent form is signed when you log in to your profile on my.technovationchallenge.org. Look on the right-hand sidebar to see whether that step has been completed.

Once you’ve checked your registration, stay logged in to your account! That’s where you’ll build a team.

Build Your Team

In order to submit your project to the competition, you’ll need to be part of a team on my.technovationchallenge.org.

You can join an existing team that a friend or teammate has already built, or create a new team (learn how to do that here). Only one team member needs to create a new team. Then that person can invite other people to the team. Teams can have up to 5 girls who are between 10 and 18 years old.

We recommend working with other people if possible. Technovation Girls is hard work, and it helps to share the workload with friends. Plus you’ll learn valuable skills like how to communicate more effectively, how to split up work, and how to collaborate with other people. However, if you can’t find teammates, it’s okay to work as a team of one — but you’ll still need to create a team on the platform.

This video guides you through finding (or building) a team:

Finding Teammates

We recommend working with other people to complete Technovation Girls — it will make the program little easier and more fun. But we know that it can be difficult to find teammates, especially when we’re all stuck at home. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ask your friends if they want to join you (even if they go to different schools, or live in a different state or a different country!)
  • Let people know what you’re up to — social media is a great way to generate interest in your project and recruit those who might be interested.
    • You can share why you want to learn how to code/launch a business or what problem you’re committed to solving. Your enthusiasm can inspire other people to think about how they also want to change the world.
    • You can also share a link to technovationchallenge.org, or this video:

  • Ask your teacher if you can share the program at the end of one of your classes. Write a blurb for a school or class newsletter, or ask if you can put together a social media post for your school inviting other girls to join you.
  • Reach out to your local Technovation Chapter or Club Ambassador and ask if they know of any other girls looking for teammates.

Find a Mentor 

A mentor is a teacher, parent, or professional who helps your team successfully complete the Technovation Girls program. Mentors don’t have to work in tech or come from a technology background to support your team!

Finding a Mentor

  • Start with who you know — coaches, teachers, parents are all great people to ask to be your mentor.
  • Don’t give up if someone tells you no — if your first choice can’t be your mentor, ask if they know of someone else who can.
  • Get in touch with your local Technovation Chapter or Club Ambassador — they’re connected to your Technovation Girls network and may know of ways to connect you to a mentor.

Stay safe when interacting with your mentor:
Your interactions with a mentor should be monitored by your guardian and/or educator. We have tips for keeping yourself safe online. If you ever feel that you are in danger, ask an adult you trust for help.

Make a work plan

Technovation Girls is a big time commitment, but figuring out how to break the work into more manageable chunks will help.

Review the Technovation Girls timeline. Learn more about what you’ll learn this year by reviewing the curriculum to see what sort of topics you’ll explore over the next 12 weeks or so. Be sure to review the submission guidelines to understand all the different pieces you’ll need to build for your project, and review the judging rubric to understand how your work will be evaluated by our volunteer judges.

Then, make a plan. Take a look at our suggested timeline. You don’t need to follow this timeline exactly, but it will help guide you on your Technovation journey and make sure you have enough time to complete all the pieces of your submission. Everything is due on April 19, 2021 at 23:59 UTC — build a work plan that will allow you to finish everything by that date.

Tip: try working backwards from the submission deadline. Mark out the deadline, and other suggested milestones and then look at your school/personal calendar. What will you need to move around from our suggested plan to fit your existing workload? What deadlines make sense for you to finish specific pieces of your submission? From there, keep working backwards and break each part of your project into smaller pieces and figure out which team member will be responsible for each piece (and which pieces everyone will need to help out with). This plan will help keep you on track and get started, but it’s normal to have to shift things around as you continue working and some parts take more or less time than you guessed.

Agree on how you’ll work together as a team! In your early meetings with your team, talk about the details of how you’ll collaborate. How will you meet? How will you stay in touch in between meetings? What tools will you use to communicate? Does everyone have each other’s contact information? Make sure you make a pla

Get Started with the Curriculum 

Jump into the curriculum and get ready to change the world. Okay, so you have your team, you have a mentor, you have a timeline — it’s time to learn! You can access the full curriculum at any time from your dashboard, or from this page.

The curriculum is broken into a suggested 12-week learning plan, with each week covering several units. You’ll learn key concepts and complete practice activities that will help you build both an app and a brand. You can complete each unit in order, or you can hop around if you already understand some key concepts. 

Units are color-coded by four main categories:

  • Ideation units are marked in yellow. These units will walk you through the process of brainstorming. You’ll decide what problem you want to solve, and make sure you’re focusing on a problem that can be addressed through a mobile app. You’ll learn about your community and the problems that matter most to your friends and neighbors.
  •  Coding units are marked in blue. You’ll pick your coding language and learn the basics of coding.
  • Entrepreneurship units are marked in green. You’ll learn how to build a brand for your mobile app, defining and understanding your target consumer, and how to market and sell your product.
  •  Pitch units are marked in pink. You’ll learn how to present your idea and convince people to use (and invest) in you and your business.

We think all of the units are important and will help you build the best project possible, but these new videos explain how to use the curriculum and which units correspond to specific pieces of the judging rubric (…so pay special attention to those!).

For the 2021 Season, we’re excited to host a series of live lessons to help guide EVERYONE through the program. Learn more and mark the dates on your calendar.

Checklist: Are you ready to dive in?

Final review — do you have what you need to participate in Technovation Girls (or a plan to find, get, or make what you need)?

  • Are you fully registered with a signed parental consent form?
  • Do you have the materials you’ll need?
    • Access to a computer
    • Internet access
    • Gmail account
      • You need a Gmail account to log into App Inventor or Thunkable, two of the most popular coding languages among Technovation Girls teams. Learn how to set up a gmail account.
    • A mobile device is optional but highly recommended. You can use an Android phone or tablet (for App Inventor & Thunkable), or an iPhone or iPad (Thunkable only)
  • Do you have teammates or a plan to find some?
    • Have you joined or created a team on my.technovationchallenge.org?
  • Do you know who your local chapter or club ambassador is? (Find them on this map.)
  • Do you know how to find a mentor on the platform?
  • Do you have a plan for how your team will meet and work remotely? What tools and technology will you use? (Email? WhatsApp? WeChat? Slack? imessage? Google Docs?) How often will you meet, and how?
  • Are you committed to making a difference for your community? We know you have what it takes to see this through. We’re already proud of you for signing up for Technovation Girls and stepping forward to make the world we live in better, safer, healthier, and fairer. You’re in good company. We can’t wait to see what you create. Good luck!

P.S. – For more guidance on your Technovation journey, join our free online classes.