Sixty girls acquire knowledge in the IT field
On 10 April 2018, Microsoft, with the support of local partners, organized the first educational program DigiGirlz at Inha University in Tashkent (IUT), dedicated to the role of women in the development of IT.
DigiGirlz, a Microsoft YouthSpark program, gives middle and high school girls opportunities to learn about careers in technology, connect with Microsoft employees, and participate in hands-on computer and technology workshops.
The event brought together 60 girls at the age between 12 and 17. The program provided an opportunity for young girls to familiarize themselves with the technology sector and new innovations.
In the first half of the DigiGirlz program, Microsoft MCE Education Lead Teodora Varbanova talked about the role of girls and women in development of information technologies. A specialist from Uzbekistan, Muqaddam Akhmedova, shared her experience in implementation of the IT projects. The knowledge gained during the lecture will allow the girls to understand what to expect and what work in this field can provide, and also discuss opportunities for building a career in the IT field.
In the second part, participants of the DigiGirlz program took part in practical workshops. The junior group participants (girls at the age between 12 and 14) created a sensor to control the Flappy Bird game. The senior group (15-17 years) took part in creation of the robohand. To create these devices, girls used cardboard, wire, Adruino set and other materials, as well as coding.
Microsoft Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility Director Elena Mukhsinova said: “Microsoft supports girls all over the world and helps them to realize their potential. The main goal of the DigiGirlz program is to support and develop girls working in the field of technology. The educational program is created to show the opportunities to prospective schoolgirls, what technology sector can provide them, and break existing gender stereotypes and hindering disclosure of talent and build a career in IT-sector”.
IUT Rector Sarvar Babakhodjaev said: “We are pleased that the educational program DigiGirlz has come to Uzbekistan. Such activities provide an opportunity to increase interest of girls in science and IT. Today, share of girls in the IT field is very small and our goal is to attract more girls and women into the technology world. Also, such events will help girls overcome gender stereotypes and make a career in the ICT-field.”
Deputy Director of MUIC for Business Development Bokhodir Ayupov said: “Educational program DigiGirlz is a project that gives girls the right to choose their own social and professional destiny, and we are happy to be part of it. The Uzbek market is incredibly capacious and hungry for innovative projects, many areas require the introduction of information and communication technologies. The government is committed to the digitalization of the economy - this is indicated by the reforms being implemented in the country. Change is not needed tomorrow, but now, as well as young literate professionals, who will be able to implement them most effectively. The preparation of such personnel begins on projects such as DigiGirlz.”
Participant of DigiGirlz Ruhsora Nazarova said: “During the DigiGirlz, I obtained knowledge, which is applicable in practice and opened new world of new technologies to me. I remember how a couple of months ago, when I saw the robots on TV, I thought that these technologies are far from Uzbekistan. Taking part in DigiGirlz and touching this future, I am sure that I can become a part of the creator of Uzbekistan’s future. I’m really glad that I joined the number of participants.”
At the end of the educational program, all participants received certificates. The most active nine girls were awarded with valuable prizes on the result of the contest, held within the framework of the event.
The event was supported by the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Mininfocom). The organizers of DigiGirlz were Microsoft Corporation, Inha University in Tashkent, Mirzo Ulugbek Innovation Center, a joint project of the Mininfocom and UNDP “Public Administration Reforms and Digital Transformation”, as well as Super Dispatch.
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