Can you be too young to learn about AI?
In this What That Means video, Camille talks with Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Technovation. They get into how Technovation is bridging the gap in inequality with STEM education for girls, plus how the nonprofit is redefining STEM Education and AI literacy.
To apply to be a participant or volunteer with Technovation, visit technovationchallenge.org.
Technovation: Bridging the Gap with STEM Education
In 2006, Tara launched Iridescent, which later evolved into Technovation, aiming to deliver top-notch technologies and educational tools to the most underserved groups, primarily concentrating on girls and young women globally. Tara recounts to Camille the motivations behind establishing this nonprofit—a mix of her discontent with job prospects in the aerospace sector and the motivation drawn from her family’s educational legacy. Technovation aspires to impact 25 million young women in the upcoming 15 years, aiming to significantly boost the presence of women in STEM.
Young girls from diverse backgrounds engage in Technovation’s programs, where they team up with mentors who guide them in transforming their innovative ideas into solutions for tangible challenges faced by their communities. Presently, Technovation collaborates with approximately 120 countries. Tara highlights several problems being tackled through these youthful endeavors, such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, earthquake forecasting, and tidal predictions benefitting Kenyan fishermen. The ultimate aim is to sponsor these girls’ ongoing education, enabling them to further hone their skills and give back to their communities and the broader world.
Redefining STEM Education and AI Literacy
Tara underscores the importance of a human-centric approach in education. Merely providing access to mobile devices and the internet is not sufficient, she notes. Instead, the beneficiaries, especially educators, should be proficiently trained to harness the potential of these advanced technologies in pedagogical settings. Tara is firm in her belief that girls shouldn’t wait until the end of their secondary education to be introduced to AI. Initiating this exposure early can be a pivotal strategy in addressing global disparities.
AI literacy, with a keen focus on AI ethics, is at the heart of Technovation’s agenda. Mentors undergo a comprehensive three-month training course, acquainting them thoroughly with AI and the technological nuances they’ll be imparting to the girls. While apprehensions about AI and ethics persist, Tara posits that enlightenment is the key to dispelling these concerns and ensuring we’re abreast of the tech revolution. This ethos is evident in Technovation participants utilizing ChatGPT as an instrumental coding resource to devise more efficacious problem-solving approaches.
Tara Chklovski, Founder and CEO of Technovation
Tara Chklovski established Technovation (previously known as Iridescent) in 2006 with the aim of providing STEM education to underserved communities worldwide, with a special focus on young girls. The mission of Technovation is to inspire girls and young women to harness modern technology to address pressing issues in their communities while nurturing them to become future leaders, innovators, and changemakers. Forbes has spotlighted Technovation on two occasions. Additionally, it boasts a four-star rating from Charity Navigator and has attained a Platinum rating from GuideStar. Tara earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Southern California and Boston University, respectively.
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