TechGirls: Promoting STEM Worldwide

Sayora, Tajikistan (2019), implemented “Empowerment of Disabled Young People to Start Learning Tech”, which encourages boys and girls old with mental and physical disabilities to pursue technology fields. The project empowers ten young people ages 12 to 16 by providing them with resources and eight hours of sessions over two months, to create and build a technology project.

Kaouthar, Morocco (2019), reduced the gap between girls in rural and city areas in the STEM field through online courses on java, app inventor and soft skills with 20 girls. Kaouthar partnered with Estem Morocco for the first session of the program.

Aigerim, Kyrgyzstan (2019), spearheaded “Hello World”, hosting speaking sessions with her fellow TechGirls Alumnae from Kyrgyzstan and eight female speakers from information technology (IT) career paths. The “Hello World” program sessions included presentations for girls, ages 14 to 17. As part of this project, Aigerim shared her own experience in TechGirls.

TechGirls and TechWomen have clubs in each of the participating countries to provide mentoring and career counseling. They currently operate in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Tajikistan, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan. All of the clubs are doing amazing work across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia regions- check out what one of our clubs, Algeria is up to: 

Algeria: The WomenTech-TechGirls Club Algeria continues to surpass IIE and Legacy expectations on club activities and events. A formal check-in is forthcoming. One of the club’s committee members, TechWoman Oufa, collected the round two $1,000 funding from IIE this November to continue to develop programming. 

Some future plans for the club in 2020 include:

  1. An Algerian Women in Data Science event in collaboration with Stanford University Women in Data Science and an Arab Women in Computing Algerian chapter including conferences, workshops, and mentoring sessions to promote Al in the female academic community in Algeria,
  2. A public announcement event to present the TechWomen and TechGirls community to Algerian officials, academics, female professionals in STEM, and students featuring panels, featuring alumnae from both programs from across Algeria; and orientations and mentoring sessions for newly selected TechWomen and TechGirls before their participation in their respective programs. 

The club also received a $20,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy Algiers for their Tech Caravan Initiative, where the club travels to remote areas of Algeria to provide tech/STEM training and build awareness about TechWomen and TechGirls programs and opportunities.

TechGirls is an international summer exchange program for young women who want to pursue careers in science and technology. Many women from all over the world participate, for example, the United States, Central Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa. The program started in 2012 and since then TechGirls have mentored 238 girls (ages 15-17). The entire program is three-weeks long in the United States. TechGirls offers a cultural immersion experience, improves their ability to enter tech fields and encourages them to go after a higher education degree. There are also site visits to technology companies, leadership clinics, community service opportunities, job shadowing, and cultural events. TechGirls is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is administered by Legacy International.

After the TechGirls’ three-week-long program, part of their experience in the program is to implement a project in their home country given the skills and experience they gained during their time in the United States. Some examples of follow on projects include presentations, technology transfers, and community service.