Engenuics, a young tech company in Victoria, is participating by pushing the scope of the dialogue. Women and other gender identities are underrepresented, but so are people from diverse backgrounds, particularly from lower income families. Engenuics has put together a series of week-long summer camps for youth aged 13 and up.
The course content has been crafted to present students with a non-traditional approach to learning. Studies show that girls tend to use technology primarily for communicating with friends, while boys use it more for playing games. This trend is starting to change as a wider variety of games become more accessible and appealing to girls. In order to appeal to both interests Engenuics has consciously chosen course material that merges communication and games.
Engenuics believes that the tech sector needs people from all walks of life and identities in order to bring the innovation and imagination required to identify and solve current and future problems.
The camps use a circuit board with buttons, lights and wireless capabilities to make an interactive tic tac toe game. Students can learn how to build the board, program it to play tic tac toe, and write an app to connect the board to a smart phone. The company hopes to ignite passion and creativity in youth by giving them hands on experience with engineering tools, such as soldering irons, design software and coding platforms.