“Girls get barbies and boys get legos” but the TechGirls Program wants to change that


For the sixth year in a row, TechChange was honored to host three brilliant girls from the TechGirls State Program.

The program encourages Middle Eastern and North African teenage girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. In the next few weeks, they are traveling throughout the U.S. for the first time to visit technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Instagram.

This year we had Tatiana Kassem of Lebanon, Lara Saket of Jordan, and Meriam Boutaa of Algeria come to the our office and shadow our staff for the day.

They began their day by working with our creative team to create their own animated assets. Watch the animated asset they created below!



Next, we showed them the TechChange platform and helped them create two of their own custom courses, one on gene therapy and one highlighting the cultures of the Middle East and North Africa.

Finally, they learned how to use Articulate 360 by working with our instructional design team.

At the end of the day, we took some time to sit down with the girls and learn more about the program and their passions.

Q: What drew you to the TechGirls Program?

Tatiana: They take girls from the Middle East and encourage them to go in to the STEM field because in the Middle East girls usually go into teaching or liberal arts. But if a girl is passionate about going into the STEM field, she should be able to. Our gender should not be a factor when deciding future occupations or finding our passion. Even as kids, girl get barbies and boys get legos. TechGirls has been important in shifting that dialogue. It also encourages us to be leaders and change our communities. It has helped me build confidence and learn the importance of building relationships.

Lara: TechGirls encourages community service, getting involved in our communities, incorporating technology to make positive changes, and build projects in our home countries.

Meriam: TechGirls has helped me improve my confidence and leadership.

Q: What projects are you currently working on?

Meriam: When I go back to Algeria, I want to teach my friends, ages 14-17, about the TechGirls program to develop their personalities, be more open-minded, and have support in their communities. You have to start within your own community.

Tatiana: I want to teach younger generations and tackle the issue of illiteracy. I want to open them to new fields and build a curriculum with an internally motivated mindset. I want the youth to regain their passion and confidence. I want to do that through a blog. I also want to use my tech skills to innovate within the medical field in the future.

Lara: There is a lack of therapists in Jordan. I really want work with the refugees in Syria who are dealing with depression. I would like build a project around that. I also want to make a difference in public education in Jordan.

Q: What was your favorite part of the job shadow day at TechChange?

Tatiana: I enjoyed being familiar with the work for the future and gaining the knowledge and meeting everyone at TechChange!

Meriem: I was always curious about how animations worked and today I learned how to make one. I thought it would be hard but you guys made it fun and easy.

Lara: Today, I felt like I saw my future. I enjoyed working with the creative team and I know that is what I would like to do.

Always a pleasure to have you here TechGirls, thanks for joining us!

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