Lagos, Nigeria – 9th November, 2018:
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre – W.TEC, recently held its first HERkathon. The event which targets the secondary school mid-term break is a Robotics hackathon with sessions on robotics and tech career-talks. Held at W.TEC’s Lekki Office in Lagos, the HERkaton ran from November 1st – 2nd and rounded off with a presentation ceremony for participants to compete with the robots they had built and programmed during the hackathon for the top prize.
The HERkathon is a 2–day technology challenge and fun learning experience for girls between the ages of 11-17 years, designed for its participants to enjoy workshops on robotics, technology career talks and then work in teams to see who can build the best and innovative robots. Registration and participation in the program was free for participants.
W.TEC’s objective of for the HERkathon is to bring together participants of its numerous programs and representatives of invited schools to have a fun learning experience that will re-energize their drive for STEM during the mid-term break and to evaluate the impact of what they have learnt towards the end of the year.
The 2-day two event had 14 girls from numerous schools (both public and private), participate in the HERkathon’s technology workshops; a hackathon, career talks and other extra – curricular activities. The robotics Hackathon tasked the girls in groups to build and program industrial LEGO robots that can pick and move objects round a factory safely. The girls upon completion of their robots operated them before a panel of judges. The best group emerged with a fully operational robot that performed its task smoothly while robots built by the other groups performed quite as well. Subsequently members of the winning group were rewarded with attractive prizes that will keep them technologically engaged.
W.TEC’s long term plan for its HERkathon is for it to be scaled into a grand tech competition where girls in groups representing their schools will compete for a grand prize in an ultimate tech fun challenge that will be well publicised to attract and boost the appeal of hackathons for girls. Thus W.TEC believes the event will eventually become a major year ending STEM event fixture for girls.