It’s finally time—Registration for the 2021-2022 Technovation Girls season is open! 

Are you ready to build the technology you want to see in the world? Let’s get started! Once you register, you’ll be able to find teammates, connect with a mentor, and get started on your project, so don’t wait—sign up now.

We are so excited to see what you build this year! Don’t forget to tag us on social media to show us what you’re working on (find us on instagram, tiktok, twitter, and facebook)

What’s New for Technovation Girls in the 2021-2022 Season

We’ve been developing some exciting things for the Technovation Girls 2022 season. We’re proud to announce a new Beginner Division for younger girls, and that all teams will have the option of creating either a mobile app or an AI prototype for their submission. 

Both of these exciting updates mean it’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you review the new judging rubrics—and make sure you’re looking at the correct rubric for your division.

We also have additional information for parents and how they can get involved, plus a more detailed look at the curriculum updates, including how to access the Beginner curriculum, how it’s different from the Junior and Senior curriculum, plus updates to the Junior and Senior curriculum. We also have some submission updates: you can use any coding language to build your project, and updated requirements for demo and pitch videos.

We are also excited to announce that we will once again be awarding a Climate Change prize, brought to us by HSBC, to a team doing innovative work to tackle this pressing issue. We will also be awarding a second special prize—more details on that coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled. You can also review all the awards available for the 2021-2022 Technovation Girls season.

Please also note that the Technovation World Summit will be virtual again in 2022, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Introducing the Technovation Girls Beginner Division

For the first time ever, girls as young as 8 can officially participate in the program—and there’s an updated division structure based on age to make learning together fun and fair.

Note: your team’s division is determined by the age of the oldest member on your team on August 1, 2022. The ages for each division are as follows:

  • Beginner Division: girls ages 8-12.
  • Junior Division: girls ages 13-15.
  • Senior Division: girls ages 16-18.

This FAQ explains more about the age-based division structure. 

How to Register for Technovation Girls 

For the 2022 season, everyone will register at my.technovationchallenge.org.

  • Students ages 8-12 must be registered by a parent. This means that your parent will officially register and receive all emails from Technovation. If you are 12 or under, you cannot sign up for your own account, you must share one with your parent.
  • If you’re 13 years old or older, you can register for your own account, but you MUST have a parent or guardian sign your consent form. You will not be able to join a team, work with a mentor, or submit your project if you do not have a signed parent consent form.

No matter which division you register for, you will compete in the division that matches the age of the oldest member of your team on August 1, 2022. For example, if you are 11 years old on a team with a 14 year old, you will compete in the Junior Division.

More ways parents/guardians can get involved

As we welcome younger girls to participate this year, we also encourage parents/guardians to get more actively involved in their daughters’ Technovation Girls experiences. Parents are always able to support their daughter’s team as a mentor if they wish in any division; this year we have more resources than ever to support them.

Option 1: Awareness + Consent

Every girl must have a parent or guardian sign the consent form no matter her age. Girls under the age of 13 must have a parent/guardian create an account for them to participate. This account must be made using a parent/guardian email address.

A note on email addresses: We encourage parents to sign up for a free email address (eg, Google, ProtonMail, etc.). Email is the primary way Technovation communicates with participants and volunteers. Students can help their parents set up an account from a phone or get help from their mentor or Chapter Ambassador.

Option 2: Active mentoring

Interested parents/guardians can guide their daughters’ teams as their teams’ mentor. This is a more hands-on way to get involved in Technovation Girls—as a mentor you will help your child’s team plan and build their project. This can include helping them work through the curriculum, offering them encouragement and support, and helping them learn how to build a work plan that will stay on track.

Please note—how you sign up as a mentor also depends on which competition division your child is in.

    • Mentoring a Beginner team: if your child is part of a Beginner team, you can just use your shared parent/student account that you create when you register your child.
  • Mentoring a Junior or Senior team: if your child is part of a Junior or a Senior team, you should sign up for a separate mentor account (also on my.technovationchallenge.org). 

You do not have to mentor alone! Your child’s team can have more than one mentor—it is possible to share the mentor responsibilities with another parent, or with another adult or tech industry professional. (Learn more about finding a mentor here.)

It is NOT a requirement for parents to mentor their child’s team. Parents of students in the Beginner Division must create the account for their child, but DO NOT have to mentor them. There are many other ways to encourage and support your daughter throughout the season beyond mentoring. Check out those ideas and many more resources just for parents—explore the parent resource page.

Curriculum Updates

We also have exciting updates about the curriculum!

Curriculum updates for the Beginner Division:

Beginner Division teams will use a separate version of the curriculum. Here’s what Beginner teams can expect from the new Beginner Curriculum:

  • You’ll learn the same basic concepts as Junior and Senior teams…just displayed in a friendlier way for younger learners
    • The Beginner curriculum has more videos, less text, and more in-depth coding tutorials
  • If you’re building a mobile app, you will learn how to do so using a coding platform called MIT App Inventor
  • If you’re building an AI prototype, you will learn how to use AI tools like Machine Learning for Kids with Scratch.
  • Beginner teams will access the curriculum through a link available in their dashboard on my.technovationchallenge.org. However, the parental consent forms MUST be signed before any student can access their full dashboard, including the link to the curriculum.

Junior and Senior teams can choose to use the Beginner Division curriculum—but make sure that you refer to the judging rubric for your division so you don’t miss anything. Junior teams need to submit a User Adoption Plan and Senior teams need to submit a Business Plan—so refer back to the judging rubric often! 

Curriculum updates for the Junior and Senior Divisions:

  • Junior and Senior teams will still access the curriculum in the usual spot—check it out here.
  • We have updated lessons on AI for students who want to create an AI project.

A new submission option: AI projects

This year, we’ve expanded the sorts of final projects teams can submit. Teams can now submit one of the following:

  • A mobile app prototype (same as always!)
  • An AI project
  • A mobile app that uses AI

The technology you choose to build will depend on the problem you’re trying to solve. Check out these curriculum lessons for more guidance on deciding which technology might work best to solve your problem: This Beginner Division lesson (remember, you have to have an activated account to access!), or this Junior/Senior Division lesson.

Many people may decide to use AI within their mobile app. If a team uses both AI and mobile technologies, they decide if they want the judges to look carefully at their code or their AI (see technology section of the judging rubric for a full explanation) during the judging process.

Okay…but what does Technovation mean by “project”? What exactly can I submit?

If you are submitting a mobile app prototype, the app needs to be a mobile app not a website or google form. You can use more sophisticated code and integrate hardware to develop a more advanced app, but the product submitted to Technovation Girls must be a mobile application to qualify for the competition.

If you are submitting an AI project, you can get creative with your invention and can even submit a cardboard prototype with your trained machine learning model (see more in this Beginner lesson, or this Junior/Senior lesson) but you need to follow the judging rubric criteria and make sure to submit evidence of your trained model and show how you collected your training data.

Will the curriculum help me learn about AI and coding?

If you’re coding a mobile app prototype, the curriculum will teach you about block-based coding languages, specifically MIT App Inventor and Thunkable. (Note: the Beginner curriculum teaches only MIT App Inventor.)

If you’re building an AI-powered tool for your project, both Beginner and Junior/Senior curricula will support you. You can use tools like Machine Learning for Kids, Teachable Machine, or mblock to build your project. Most of these options are free online tools, but you can also use hardware like micro:bit, Arduino, or Raspberry Pi, if you have access to them.

Submission update: now accepting any coding language

We’re now accepting any coding language for Technovation Girls mobile app prototype submissions. Previously we have only accepted 4 languages: MIT App Inventor, Thunkable, Java, and Swift, but this year, we are allowing you to submit in any language. However, please note that the live classes Technovation runs will most fully support MIT App Inventor, Thunkable, Java, and Swift, and that the curriculum continues to support MIT App Inventor and Thunkable only.

Submission update: Demo Video Updates

Please make sure to check out requirements for the demo video, especially if you are coding in a language other than MIT App Inventor, Thunkable, Java, and Swift. You can learn more here.

And everyone should note that this year you do not need to talk about your learning journey in your pitch or demo videos. Instead, there is a separate written section for you to write about your learning journey.

It’s going to be an incredible season of Technovation Girls—we’re so glad you’re part of it. Sign up to participate if you haven’t yet. We can’t wait to see how you bring your vision for a better world to life.