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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Wallace Louie: wallace@iridescentlearning.org
               Maggie Jaris:  maggie@iridescentlearning.org

THE NEXT GENERATION OF PROBLEM SOLVERS: MIDDLE SCHOOL AND

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS DEVELOP MOBILE APPS TO SOLVE COMMUNITY PROBLEMS

Two Former Technovation Teams Are Invited to the 2016 White House Science Fair

 

(WASHINGTON, DC -- APRIL 11, 2016)

President Obama will host the sixth annual White House Science Fair on April 13, to celebrate student achievements across a range of science, technology, engineering and math programs and competitions.

Iridescent’s Technovation Challenge is proud to announce that 2015 finalists Lydia Mindermann and Andrea Richard will exhibit their mobile app Mayo Free Time at the fair.  As part of Team Furst middle-schoolers, Mindermann, Richards, and fellow developer Rylee Melius developed Mayo Free Time to help Mayo Clinic patients occupy their time between appointments and reduce stress, anxiety, and boredom. Team Furst qualified for the Technovation finals in 2015, selected as one of ten finalist teams out of nearly 400 submissions from 28 countries. Presenting Mayo Free Time at World Pitch, alongside teams from India, Mexico, Brazil and Nigeria, Team Furst was awarded Honorable Mention and took home the Audience Choice Award. Team Furst has since been recognized by Mayo Clinic, (a nonprofit worldwide leader in medicare, research and education for people of all walks of life), for their innovative solution to a common problem that patients face. 

Alongside Team Furst, 2015 Technovation participants Team Alpha Wolf will share their app Spectrum. The app was imagined and designed by Siobhan Garry, 17, Mona Fariborzi, 17, Lauren Mori, 17, Bansi Parekh, 17, and McKenna Stamp, 18. Team Alpha Wolf developed Spectrum to provide a safe social network for LGBTQIA+ youth, as navigating gender identity, sexual orientation, and romantic orientation can be a particularly isolating and difficult journey for young people. Team Alpha Wolf's work has since been featured as part of Google's Made w/ Code campaign.

The former Technovation participants will share their app with their peers at the White House Science Fair on April 13. "We are so proud of Lydia and Andrea, and are delighted that they have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share their community-focused app at the White House," said Tara Chklovski, Iridescent CEO. "These young women, alongside their Technovation peers, have already proven that they're ready and eager to apply their new entrepreneurial skills and can-do spirit to solve tomorrow's problems and we are proud to support them."

What's next for the girls? Presenting at the Science Fair, and then it's back to work for some girls to put finishing touches on a whole new app to be submitted to this year's Technovation Challenge, which culminates in the 2016 World Pitch Summit this July. 

About the 2016 White House Science Fair

This year's White House Science Fair will highlight the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of the next generation of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and innovators. Students attending this year's Science Fair are tackling some of our Nation's greatest challenges - from combatting climate change, to uncovering new ways to fight cancer, to discovering ways to reach farther beyond our atmosphere as a part of the Mars generation. 

About Iridescent and Technovation Challenge

Since 2006, Iridescent, a global nonprofit organization, has been empowering girls and children to embrace science, technology and engineering (STEM) through its Technovation and Curiosity Machine programs respectively.  Iridescent won the US2020 Excellence in Volunteering Experience award.  Every year, Technovation challenges girls all over the world to build a mobile app that will address a community problem.  Since 2010, over 10,000 girls across 72 countries have participated in Technovation.  The program provides computer science professional development for teachers, mentors and parents to better engage and support girls to become technology innovators and entrepreneurs.  Indicative of its growth, the Technovation Challenge was recently profiled in the newly released documentary CodeGirl, directed by Lesley Chilcott.

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