Chioma I.

Chioma I.

2018 Anita Borg Systers Pass It On Award Winner
Project Title: TechInspired

Chioma is a change-maker and a women and girls advocate. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Chemistry from Federal University of Technology Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. Having acquired professional development training in IT, Chioma leads tech projects at Circuit Pointe, a non-governmental organization that focuses on women empowerment and the Women’s Rights Movement. She has also worked as an Innovator at Heritage Bank where she managed the deployment of several software applications, including the set-up of the bank’s Innovation Centre. Having interacted with several software developers, Chioma interest in programming blossomed into a strong passion. Today, she is challenging the status quo in the technology industry and empowering women to facilitate social development.

TechInspired is an initiative that will supplement instructor-led teachings in classrooms through hands-on experience. 180 secondary school girls will participate in an exciting and technically challenging immersion in computing, and will work with interactive computer technology hardware and applications. TechInspired aims to encourage these girls to develop an early interest in computer science and technology, eliminate the misconceptions about computing, and create positive images of technology-related careers.

Organized to run monthly, the TechInspired team will visit a total of six rural secondary schools in Imo State. The team will use six Tech-in-a-Box kits comprising of Raspberry-Pi, a powered mini computer, along with a corresponding Arduino set, pre-charged to provide up to eight hours of continuous instruction time. In teams of five, the girls will work on STEM-related projects, and a training assistant will work with each team. Teams will learn problem solving skills, leading to strong interactive participation.

The project’s ultimate measure of impact will be the number of girls that are inspired to learn more about tech. Pre- and post-surveys will be administered to the students before and after the project. These surveys will assess their knowledge of computer programming; current performances in computer science or information, communication, and technology (ICT); interest in attending similar trainings, etc. Other metrics include: increased interest in STEM, increased confidence with STEM concepts, increased enrollment in STEM majors, improved stem grades, and increased understanding of STEM career pathways. Five female STEM teachers in each school will also create STEM outreach and mentoring programs after the TechInspired project. They will be trained on new teaching methodologies.