uOttawa Faculty of Engineering Secondary School students among finalists at Technovation World Summit

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Thanks to the University of Ottawa’s STEM summer program, students are using technology to solve real-world problems, help their community, and develop their own technical and leadership skills.

Daniella and Bianca Almeida, two students who took a course at the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School this year, became finalists at Technovation, the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls. They earned their nomination for their work in developing an app to address sedentary behaviour. The team from the Faculty of Engineering are the only Canadian finalists in their category.

The ICS2O Introduction to Computer Studies course is an accredited high school course covered by Shopify. It provides students with a better understanding of computers, from hardware components to software applications and operating systems. During the course, students follow the engineering design process. Through the creation of a mobile app to address a community problem, the girls develop programming and business skills that will serve them throughout their life.

“We need to show the girls that they have the support, skills, and ability to pursue their passion with confidence,” says Najah Mary El-Gharib, teacher of the ICS2O course.

Najah Mary El-Gharib, teacher of the ICS2O course at uOttawa

““Developing young girls’ interest in STEM and removing barriers are two of the main reasons why the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School exists.””

Najah Mary El-Gharib, teacher of the ICS2O course

“We need to show the girls that they have the support, skills, and ability to pursue their passion with confidence,” says Najah Mary El-Gharib, teacher of the ICS2O course.

The finalists’ project is an app called Exer-Time, which promotes an active lifestyle through a gamification process. People working from home during the pandemic rarely leave their chairs, which can lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Exer-Time aims to encourage users to take breaks throughout their workday to make time for exercise using the Pomodoro Technique.

Daniella and Bianca Almeida took a course at the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School this year and  became finalists at Technovation for the app they created.
Daniella and Bianca Almeida took a course at the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School this year and became finalists at Technovation for the app they created.

It is the second time this year that girls from the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School have earned international recognition. Last September, two former students won the Micro:bit’s 2021 Do Your :Bit global challenge for creating a device to help manage anxiety.

“Creating opportunities for girls in STEM at a young age is very important in developing their creativity, confidence and in giving them equal opportunities to pursue, thrive, and succeed in STEM careers,” explains El-Gharib. “It helps narrow the gender gap and ensure a diverse talented STEM workforce.”

Daniella and Bianca will soon be paying it forward by encouraging fellow teens to take up engineering. They will take part in a panel discussion for girls in STEM during the September Go Eng Girl event.

The Technovation World Summit is being held on August 12 in celebration of the accomplishments of all the participating teams.

 

About the Faculty of Engineering Secondary School  

The Faculty of Engineering Secondary School at the University of Ottawa offers high school students the opportunity to take courses that are credited towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma. All courses offered follow the Ontario curriculum guidelines while engaging students in hands-on learning opportunities in technological design or computer science.

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