Southwark schoolgirls lead parliamentary debate
Students present innovative apps to politicians and policymakers at a parliamentary event promoting young women in the technology industry.
Parliament & Internet is an annual conference to discuss internet policy and inform policymakers, bringing together government, parliamentarians, officials, business and civil society. Keynote speakers included Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey MP, and Shadow Cabinet Minister Chi Onuwurah MP.
Notre Dame School students Kimberly Yankey, Georgia Frame, Rosemary Rifaat, Betty Puckey, with Teresa Crowley (Head of Careers at Notre Dame School)
At a session entitled "Women in Tech", the four students presented two apps they have been working on, in partnership with Peabody and funded by the Big Lottery. The "Health it Up" app aims to promote active and healthy lifestyles to young people in Southwark, while "Oii My Size" deals with how boys talk to girls, providing tips and advice on what’s appropriate.
Opportunities in tech
The group, from Notre Dame Girls’ Secondary School, also contributed to a lively panel debate on why young women need to be involved in leading tech projects that go beyond coding. Areas highlighted included design, testing, marketing, advertising and campaigning.
"We explained how we the apps came about, and the reasons behind the design. The audience gave us some suggestions on how the apps could be improved. It was a very good day and we felt that our work was well received,” said Kimberly, 15.
“This event was a fantastic opportunity for young women to promote projects that are genuinely connected to their lives and affect their schools, peers and communities,” said Isabel Chapman, youth coordinator at Peabody, who has been working closely with the girls to develop both apps.