<Women at Tech>
Career orientation program for girls
The aim of the initiative launched in 2021 is to make the STEM fields attractive to young people in an experiential way by solving real-life engineering problems, while they can also experience the benefits and the joy of teamwork. We would like more and more girls to see engineering as a possible career path, even if they thought before that this option was not an alternative for them. Girls who join the WATCH program, can peek into the mysteries of engineering and programming, try different coding interfaces, design and print their ideas in 3D. In addition, during the WATCH program, students can meet successful female engineers, get to know first-hand the possibilities inherent in science professions, the beauties of the engineering career, and discover their own strengths.
In the last two school years more than a hundred high school girls took part in the WATCH program. During the 12-week basic training, the participants acquired the future-proof knowledge that later was needed for their project works. At the WATCH sessions, girls were able to catch a glimpse of the world of smart devices and got to learn the advantages or disadvantages of using artificial intelligence. 3D modelling provided an opportunity for the high school students to design special things and to bring their ideas to life using their creativity. During the professional sessions, the girls learnt to use a three-dimensional graphic editing program, with the help of which they will be able to create unique objects.
Just like last year, a closing event took place in June 2023 where the girls presented their smart structures, they created during the career orientation program. Those interested can get an opportunity to see these projects at different events such as the Campus Festival or the Researchers’ Night. In the previous school year, the students made – among many other things – a smart mirror, an interactive lotus flower, a laser harp, and an automatic pet feeder, this year they attempt to create a plasma plate, a laser spirograph, a mini-robot and a weather station as well in the WATCH workshop.
This girls-specific, unique program is supported by Agora’s strategic partner: NI. It’s a great news that this year not only volunteers form NI got involved in WATCH, but also employees of Sensirion Hungary Kft. and Diehl Aviation Hungary participated in the WATCH program as mentors for the students.
WATCH was further expanded this year, WATCH+ has been launched with the support of NI Hungary Kft., in which last year’s participants can deepen their knowledge through new project works, take part in factory visits and gain useful experience related to further education with the involvement of professionals from the University of Debrecen. The goal of the new program, which runs until the spring of 2024, is to keep interested girls in STEM related careers and to increase their commitment to the engineering and IT professions.
NI supports the two career orientation programs with almost 65,000 US dollars.