Congratulations to Valencia High School International Baccalaureate (IB) and Val Tech student Sana Talwar for being featured in the documentary CodeGirl, which was released on YouTube today.
In February 2015, Sana responded to the Technovation Challenge. Over 16 weeks, she worked with her team — mentored by Valencia teacher Natasha Ulibari — on determining which community cause they wanted to solve by developing an app prototype (utilizing AppInventor2), a brand (Benef-Action: Benefiting the Community Through Action), a business plan (how it will be developed and implemented, as well as how much it will cost), a pitch (a four-minute video convincing investors to partner with the app) and a demo video (how the app would work) to enter into the competition.
Shortly after they began, they were asked to participate in the filming of a documentary. The director, Lesley Chilcott, is best known for producing An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman, in addition to other films. The documentary honors the efforts of 5,000 high school girls from 60 countries that participated in this year’s challenge.
Since then, Sana’s team has received $15,000 in backing from a venture capitalist in San Francisco. The girls also met a developer to learn how to develop the app for Google Play and iOS platforms.
Sana was interviewed on CNN on Saturday, Oct. 31, and will attend the premiere of CodeGirl at the ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday, Nov. 5.
To watch Sana’s CNN interview, click here.
Sana had this to say about the experience:
“Being in Technovation made me more aware of the gender inequality in the tech field. I believe that exposure about this cause to the masses is key, especially for girls, since the average female computer science graduate had her first coding experience in college; though the average male computer science graduate had his first coding experience in elementary school. I want to actively try to inspire other young women to enter careers in tech and narrow the gender gap, and make a difference on my campus. I will make an impact by increasing awareness and access for female students to learn computer science and coding. Leaning on support from my mentor, my teachers, public and private partners, like Technovation, Girls Who Code and Code.org, I will work to educate, to inspire and to equip high school girls locally at Valencia High School in Orange County and nationally through social media outreach, for the future study of engineering and computer science. Learning how to code is an empowering experience, and closing the gender gap is the way to solve the problems in future.”
For more information about the Technovation Challenge, click here.