Girls in touch with finding software solutions

St Hilda's Collegiate School pupils (from left) Evie Rose Grace, Hannah McCoubrey, Emma Grindlay...
St Hilda's Collegiate School pupils (from left) Evie Rose Grace, Hannah McCoubrey, Emma Grindlay and Eliabel Legrand (all 13) display their new website, created during a Techweek event at Balmacewen Intermediate yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
In an age when youngsters live with a mobile device in one hand, it is unsurprising that is where they turn to find solutions to some of their greatest concerns.

As part of New Zealand Techweek 2019, more than 100 girls, from 12 Dunedin schools, spent yesterday at Balmacewen Intermediate designing software solutions to real-world problems.

Balmacewen Intermediate teacher and Hatch Education founder Phillipa Dick was amazed by many of the apps and websites created by the girls, who were from years 7-13.

The majority of the programs created were focused on sustainability and mental health issues, she said.

One of the outstanding website designs was by a group of St Hilda's Collegiate School pupils, called Little By Little, she said.

Group spokeswoman Eliabel Legrand said the site aimed to help people learn about the environment, and give advice on how to live more sustainably.

"On one page you can sponsor a tree, on another one you can adopt an animal. There's one about upcycling, and we created a game called Save the Wave which encourages young kids to pick up rubbish."

Apps created by other pupils throughout the day focused on anti-bullying, finding friends through common interests, the "gamification" of chores, fundraising for charities, personal safety, fitness, and information sites designed to make life easier for people with disabilities.

"It's a wonderful way to show the positive use of technology by the younger generation in creating social change," Miss Dick said.

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