Technovation Empowers Girls of All Ages to Share Their Unique Technology Ideas at Progress HQ

Technovation Empowers Girls of All Ages to Share Their Unique Technology Ideas at Progress HQ

Posted on June 24, 2024 0 Comments

By the end of 2023, the Women in Tech Network found that women held 35% of technology jobs in the United States. The percentage of women holding jobs and significant leadership positions in leading tech companies is even more surprising. Additionally, according to the National Science Foundation, a little over 20% of women are pursuing degrees in computer and information science and roughly 22% are seeking education in the engineering and engineering technology fields.

These shocking statistics explain why organizations such as Technovation are crucial to girls who may want to pursue a career in the always-interesting tech field.

Technovation is a global organization with one mission: to empower girls of all ages to have careers in the STEM field. The non-profit hosts events where it provides a platform for groups of girls (or single teams) to pitch their ideas to an audience consisting of families, technologists and the Progress community. 

Danielle Bodine, Co-President of Technovation and a long-time computer science teacher in Waltham, Massachusetts spoke with Progress about her experience with the organization. She also commented on how it impacts the greater tech community.

“I love being involved with Technovation. It is so inspiring to see the students thoughtfully brainstorm and implement solutions to some of our biggest challenges,” says Bodine. “Technovation is a global competition, but it feels like all the teams are winners because the skills and knowledge that they gain through the experience is invaluable. The showcase is such an important part of the experience because it gives the students an opportunity to show off their work and receive validation and feedback from industry professionals. Our world's future is bright with these girls leading the way.”

Kerri Murphy, one of the event organizers, and an accomplished computer science and robotics teacher in the Greater Boston area, shared the reasons why she volunteers.

“For me, being involved in Technovation is a chance to allow young women to show their passion in solving problems to help people in their community,” says Murphy.  “To see them come up with ideas and work together towards a solution for a problem they see in their world, on their own time, is so inspiring to me. It is one of the best parts of teaching to see this process, and the Live Showcase is a wonderful place for these young women to shine as bright as they can and deserve to.”

On Saturday, May 11, Progress proudly hosted the Massachusetts Technovation chapter at our Burlington, MA, headquarters. The event allowed several bright young women to connect with members of the greater technology community and network with other Progressers. Before the pitch event, a panel featured Soofia Shaik, Principal QA Engineer, Vidhi Thumma, QA Manager, and Sara Faatz, Technology Community Relations Director, as they shared their experiences as women in technology. Yogesh Gupta, CEO of Progress, led the panel.

Who Was Pitching Their Ideas at Progress?

One trend amongst all the teams was that nearly all of the girls were self-taught coders and each used several different platforms, including the MIT App Inventor. Many of the girls had told us that their teachers (with many complimenting their computer science teachers) inspired them to start developing their technologies and apps.

Another trend amongst these young ladies was their focus on improving education for students of similar ages, innovating within the healthcare sector and helping raise awareness about serious issues girls will face. 

Yogesh was joined at the judge’s table alongside Jenn Ortiz, VP of Corporate Marketing and Dinara Doyle, Chief of Staff.

14 unique technologies and apps were showcased and they were split into three categories: Beginners (elementary school), Juniors (middle school/junior high) and Seniors (high school). While we would love to showcase all the teams, we want to highlight the winners and their applications.


BookSlate aims to help improve studying and homework habits. In their research to develop their app, BookSlate found that almost 80% of students in multiple grades need help focusing on homework due to needing help understanding specific topics. As a result, they try to study more but need more motivation to do so. BookSlate is creating an app with the AI-powered Gemini API and users can input a desired topic and it will generate random problems. But, the issues will be displayed through a fun trivia game. The BookSlate team gave students at their school an opportunity to test the app, and many provided feedback about their experience using it.


MediChoose assists with directing patients to the ideal location to treat their injury, condition or illness. Whether it is an emergency room or urgent care center, many healthcare facilities need help with overcrowding. Sometimes, there can be a situation where a patient goes to the ER… only to find out they didn’t need to go and spend more time waiting than working alongside a healthcare professional. In fact, 32% of patients in the emergency room should’ve gone to another facility or office. MediChoose users will complete a questionnaire regarding their condition, providing a score on its severity. From there, it will then direct the user to the correct location. 

TalkToMe (CW: Suicide)

TalkToMe assists social media users in approaching their loved ones who may be expressing concerning thoughts online. However, the pitch's primary focus was on helping teenagers who may be posting suicidal-sounding messages on their social media profiles. Many teens struggle to talk about their feelings and stresses and when they do not have an outlet, this can often lead to those expressing themselves through concerning posts on social media. During the pitch, the theme of a suicide spectrum was discussed; not every situation requires a 911 call or intervention from the police. The app’s machine learning-powered detection component will let the user know if their message requires more attention or the teen just needs to talk to someone they trust. A user will copy-and-paste the message they see from the loved one into the app, and using machine learning algorithms, TalkToMe will determine where the person falls on the suicide spectrum. 

Team IU

ProCal is a calendar app designed to help students minimize their habits of putting off assignments. This team’s energetic, informative and humorous pitch started with a question: What percentage of Massachusetts high school students experience stress and procrastination? The ProCal team wants users to create a schedule of how much time they may spend on specific assignments and tasks, such as essay writing. The app will then generate time blocks in their respective calendars and schedule time out of their day. The team didn’t want to just be another calendar app but instead, be one focusing on time management and eventually improving procrastination habits. The team plans to integrate with Google Calendar, which is commonly used by many technology-centric schools.

Borboletas – BraceOn! Scoliosis App

BraceOn! tracks a patient’s usage with their scoliosis brace and monitors various aspects such as temperature and movement. Scoliosis affects how the spinal cord bends and usually occurs when a person goes through puberty. As such, this condition can cause low self-esteem in those who suffer from it. Two of the founding team members of Boroletas suffer from scoliosis, which helped inspire the development of a monitoring app called BraceOn! The goal is to motivate those who may feel insecure about wearing the brace and eventually decrease the curvature of the spine. The team’s technology uses a microbit that connects via Bluetooth to a user’s phone. Borboletas ended their pitch by briefly discussing their plan to partner with Boston Children’s Hospital and test the product with patients.

What Can You Do to Promote and Support Inclusion in Tech?

A diverse workforce brings its own unique skills and perspectives to an organization, which can help the overall business grow and succeed. Not to mention, everyone deserves to see themselves represented in their preferred industry. The technology world, from early-stage startups to enterprise companies, is no different. Think about the young women who are attending college or about to graduate high school studying computer science; they want to feel welcome and supported in their respective fields.

For all these reasons, Progress is proud to support organizations like Technovation Girls and Kids in Tech. Additionally, as part of our global Women in STEM Scholarship series, Progress has awarded scholarships to 14 deserving women across the US, India and Bulgaria.

But, as the header states above, what can you do to support and celebrate inclusion in the tech industry? You can volunteer at events like the Technovation, but colleges will host hackathons, which are excellent opportunities to support inclusion. Educating other students about famous leaders or innovators in the STEM world is also crucial and will help inspire others. Lastly, always provide support for your students, and let them know there is a place for them in the technology realm.

Colin Barry headshot

Colin Barry

Copywriter Colin Barry has spent the majority of his career in the tech sector of Boston as a journalist and content marketer, writing about early-stage startups and consumer electronics. However, it is the combination of marketing and creative writing that draws him to the world of copywriting. Colin lives in Massachusetts and is self-described film geek, rock music nerd, and video game enthusiast.


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