Eleven-year-old Samantha, from Nicaragua, develops software apps. So far, she has won 3 technology contests, the first of which she won when she was in first grade.
Samantha is part of our Smart Schools project, a 2-year programme with Samsung Electronics that aims to reduce the digital gender gap.
Learning digital skills
At the beginning of 2019 Samantha took part in programming course APPrenderé. She was taught how to use Scratch Junior App, an application used to create animated stories.
I like to use technology to raise awareness of social problems such as the pollution of the environment.
“I learnt to move objects, write dialogues and create animations to tell a story. It’s my favourite application.”
After learning how to use Scratch, Samantha competed against 56 other children in a competition designed to test how much they had learnt during the APPrenderé course.
Tackling social issues with technology
Samantha uses her technological skills to raise awareness of social problems. For the competition, her and her team developed an app that teaches children about environmental conservation.
“I like to use technology to raise awareness of social problems such as the pollution of the environment. If we do not act now, one day we won’t have our planet.”
Unfortunately, Samantha and her team did not win the competition, however, they did come second. Additionally, the team won a commendation for creativity, innovation and originality.
Despite having won multiple competitions, winning is not the most important thing to Samantha. She wants to have fun, share her skills and work with others.
The benefits of teaching technology
Teaching children about technology is incredibly beneficial. It teaches them how to communicate and work with others, as well as develops their critical and logical thinking.
“Technology is a very good way to grow. I put my listening skills into practice, because usually we do not work as a team, but now we have to challenge what we traditionally do.”
Despite its benefits, girls are still isolated from learning about technology. That is why, at Smart Schools, we encourage girls and boys to work together. We want to encourage children to be respectful to one another and promote gender equality from a young age.
“Technology helps girls with their education, both culturally and socially, and also encourages them to share their knowledge with others who do not have the same skills.”