Technovation volunteers play a key role in Technovation programs and may do some or all of the following:
- Support the learning of children and/or families in-person and/or online
- Provide feedback on project submissions from participants in-person and/or online
- Provide extra support to participants and organizations implementing Technovation programs (guest speaker, coaching, webinars, hosting or volunteering at events, etc)
As a volunteer, we ask that you contribute to creating a safe, secure environment for young people participating in any Technovation programs. This includes preparation to engage with participants virtually and/or in person by:
- Registering as a volunteer, mentor, or judge with Technovation
- Completing all training that Technovation provides
To ensure the safety of its participants, all Technovation volunteers, including Chapter and Club Ambassadors, mentors, and judges, need to do the following:
- Review the resources on this safety page.
- Take the 8-unit “Internet Safety Training” (also linked on the safety page). Please select “Mentor” for each unit.
- Take the Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect online training (also linked on the safety page). Please save your certificate.
All Technovation volunteers should follow the guidelines below:
- Ensure the physical and emotional safety of participants
- Discuss any uncertainties you have around child safeguarding with your region’s core volunteers or Technovation staff at any time.
- Meet during appropriate times in the day or evening. If meeting with children individually in-person or online, do as openly as possible and inform another adult of the meeting.
- Treat all young people as individuals, equally and with respect, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic background.
- No harassment or bullying will be tolerated.
- Offer constructive, age-appropriate encouragement and feedback.
- If meeting in person:
- Meet in community and public spaces such as libraries, schools, or workplaces and follow all safety procedures of the site.
- Work to maintain a recommended ratio of one adult per ten children (1:10) or better at Technovation activities.
- Do not carry firearms or other weapons in the presence of program participants.
- Release children only to parents, guardians, or other adults (as authorized by parents or guardians).
- If meeting virtually, choose safe websites and apps to meet on.
- If you wish to communicate directly with participants outside of Technovation meetings, we encourage you to contact a participant’s guardians to get consent. Here is a template for you to share with parents. When possible, include parents in all communication with children.
- Maintain what is, in the judgment of Technovation Girls, a courteous and polite tone in all forms of communication, both written and verbal with all stakeholders.
- Record any allegation a child makes of child abuse and follow reporting procedures of your local government. Don’t allow allegations a child makes go without being recorded and addressed.
As a Technovation volunteer, the following actions are prohibited:
- Do not use offensive or sexually suggestive physical/verbal language. Students should not be permitted to use this type of language either.
- Do not send inappropriate messages to students in person or online. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to, asking for personal photos, commenting on appearances, etc.
- Do not connect/”friend”/follow children on social media.
- Physical and emotional safety of participants
- Do not single out any child for unfair favoritism, criticism, ridicule, or unwelcomed focus of attention.
- Do not allow or engage in inappropriate touching of any form.
- Do not ever physically or verbally abuse or punish children.
- Do not consume alcohol or drugs prior to or during activities with participants.
Our mentor community is made up of a variety of professionals, educators, and parents who take different approaches to mentoring. Your role as mentor can be to use the curriculum to teach the program, to help the team as a program manager, or to be a soundboard when students have questions or need a review of their work. As a group of volunteers, mentors provide direct support to Technovation Girls participants. Mentors should always keep student safety top of mind. In addition to the guidelines above, please note:
- Mentors should never be alone with only one student.
- Mentors should never message a student privately.
- A teacher or guardian must accompany the team on field trips or workshops along with the mentor.
In addition to the guidelines above, Chapter and Club Ambassadors agree to abide by the additional clauses outlined below. Please read it and let your point of contact know if there is any part you cannot abide by. Note – there are 3 actions required below in the Safety section.
- Technovation Girls Ambassadors shall maintain open communication with fellow Ambassadors and Technovation staff. They shall work collaboratively and be considered a team.
- Please note our Ambassador community is global and therefore we all come from different backgrounds, different native languages, and cultures, all of which play a part in communication.
- Please be patient and kind to one another.
- Technovation Girls Ambassadors must not tamper with or attempt to influence or change judge scores, change team’s submissions, abuse funds intended for Technovation Girls activities, receive or give bribes, or otherwise act in dishonest or fraudulent conduct.
- Additional Safety Measures:
- Ambassadors must take every precaution to ensure safety for children in any travel or participation by communicating directly with mentors and parents/guardians about the date, time, venue, and attendance of Technovation Girls activities.
- Please ensure you follow all internet safety guidelines and recommendations. Make sure to get parental consent for mentors to communicate with girls outside of scheduled program meetings.
- Participating students are minors. As such, all communication between Technovation Girls Ambassadors and students must include the student’s parent/guardian.
- Please be sure to complete the Technovation volunteer safety actions, and ensure all volunteers including mentors, judges, and any other adult interacting with participants do so as well.
- Technovation Girls Ambassadors/Staff of local partner organizations shall prepare for any sessions they lead.
- Technovation Girls Ambassadors/Staff of local partner organizations shall maintain the confidentiality and privacy of program participants.
- They shall not disclose or disseminate program participants’ personal information, including identifying information (such as name, school, address, age, email address) photographs, or educational records, to anyone beyond Technovation Girls staff.
- They shall use confidential information only in connection with and to benefit the Technovation Girls program and participants and obey all local laws around data privacy.
- They will delete all confidential information from their computers when it is no longer needed for the use agreed upon with Technovation.