It’s not a bird, or a plane.
What is really making waves is the Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero Competition.
The 12-week program encourages girls to learn more about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) careers through the creation of an app.
Teams of up to five girls aged between 7 and 17 are invited to work with a coach and mentor to build their app, addressing an issue they identified in their community.
The Tech Girls Movement partners with organisations, including Fairfax Media, to connect mentors with students.
As in previous years, women at the University of Newcastle have mentored Maitland High pupils.
The mentoring program allows the students to see women working in STEM and learn from them.
Maitland High School had 13 girls in Year 8 and Year 9 participating in 2018, including Ronnie Swain, Riley Griffiths, Paige Walmsley and Makenzee Allen, who decided to create a health and fitness app – Fit Me 4 U.
It’s got a meal planner, an exercise tracker, meal ideas and exercise tips – everything they think necessary to lose unwanted extra kilograms and live a healthy life.
“It’s a good and easy way to exercise and lose weight,” Riley said.
“It just seemed like a really big issue in my eyes, obesity and weight problems.
“I feel that we do need to help people with these problems.”
There are many learning outcomes in the program, including business plan creation, product promotion, technical aspects related to building the app, and teamwork.
“For me, writing the promotion video script was pretty fun,” Ronnie said.
Riley was excited about the technical side of the program.
“My favourite part was probably doing the app inventing and seeing it all come together” she said.
“That was really cool and just learning how to do it a bit better and working with each other.”
When asked if they would recommend the competition to a friend, the team didn’t hesitate in their praise.
“It’s a really good experience and it’s just cool learning how to do it all,” Ronnie said.
“I was really terrible with computers but as the weeks went by I got to learn them more and more.”
“We’ve kind of become better as a team and learned how to work together,” added Riley.
“At the start we kind of mucked around and stuff but then we realised we can’t do that, we needed to focus.”