FRIDAY, AUGUST 28, 2020: PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: Ryu Dan Dojo Conquerors Tech club ranked first among 13 teams at the Girls Power Tech 2020 last Friday August 21. The virtual event, hosted by the Digicel Foundation in collaboration with Digicel Business and CISCO, exposed 123 young women between the ages of 15-21 years to a day filled with innovation, inspiration and creativity all in the name of tech.
Girls Power Tech was designed to engage, motivate and expose young women to various opportunities in the field of Information Computer Technology (ICT). One of the main highlights of the interactive fun filled day was the Hackathon. The teams were challenged to come up with solutions to address social issues which are beginning to plague our society as a result of the negative impact of COVID-19. Teams presented technology based solutions on how to; Save Lives, Save Education, Save Small Businesses.
The 10-girl team, Ryu Dan Dojo Conquerors, used their knowledge of Mixed Reality, and presented the concept of classrooms without borders. Their ‘education-saving’ solution allows secondary schools students who are at home, to utilize 3D technology to make their learning environment more dynamic (e.g. virtual field trips, SBA Labs). Placing 2nd was Tech Girls whose pitch included using an App to build awareness on COVID and preventative measures. The App also included a 'symptom tracker' and alerts when an individual enters a local 'COVID hot-spot’. A database of quarantine facilities, emergency hotlines, sanitisation services, COVID kits and reminders to practice social distancing and personal hygiene was also built in. Cashew Gardens RSC Tech Club came in 3rd with their concept to innovate medical gloves to detect the coronavirus. The glove, ‘Glovibe’ is complete with a thermometer, GPS tracker, internal and external sensors and data can be downloaded into an App for use by essential workers.
With five mins to present their ideas, the teams got down to business. The judging criteria considered: concept, feasibility, innovation and the team’s pitch. First, second and third prize winners took home smart watches, 6 months’ free Digicel Home and Entertainment, Tablets, wireless charging pads, headphones and other computer accessories. Each participant received a wireless headphone for attending the virtual event with MVPs being awarded with Bluetooth speakers. First place winners Ryu Dan Dojo Conquerors also have the opportunity to have their solution further developed by Digicel Foundation.
Liam Donnelly, Digicel Business Solutions General Manager delivered some words of encouragement to the young women on the day; “At Digicel, we push our team to disrupt, innovate and challenge. As you sit in your groups today for the Hackathon I want each of you to find disruptive ways to make positive social change, understand that innovation is not only about creating something new but it is also about making something better and challenge yourselves to think outside of the box”
The event was complemented with inspiration from influential speakers and experts like: Risanne Martin, Fashion Designer from Brown Cotton Caribbean; Wendy Fitzwilliam, Former Miss Universe and Sekani Solomon, Tobago-born Black Panther Animator. Each had a resounding message of pivoting during these uncertain times, being authentic and utilizing technology to guarantee success in whatever the career choice.
Penny Gomez, CEO Digicel Foundation proudly expressed that the Foundation team was coincidentally a group of women. She said that they were excited to be part of this life-changing experience as her team incorporates technology into all aspects of their programming.