Student Challenge for Secondary Schoolgirls

Women and Girls in STEM Forum 2024

#WGSF24 – Fourth edition

Currently in Europe, women make up only 41%1 of the workforce in STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and 19%2 in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) jobs. Encouraging female students to engage with technology is crucial for fostering diversity and innovation within the industry, tapping into a wealth of untapped talent and perspectives. 

The EU-funded Girls Go Circular Project aims to reduce the digital and STEM gender gap by equipping schoolgirls aged 14-19 across Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills. The Women and Girls in STEM Forum is the project’s yearly event, organised in collaboration with the EIT and the European Commission. The next edition will take place in Budapest on 10 October 2024, and will see the participation of +20 European countries. Students who participated in the Girls Go Circular Project now have the opportunity to join the Student Challenge and try to win a trip to Budapest to attend the Forum!

Rules for Participation

Students participating in the challenge must fulfil all the following requirements:

Be a schoolgirl aged 14-19.
Be a participant or alumna of the Girls Go Circular project.
Form a team composed of 3 girls. Remember, we are working together to increase women's participation in STEM!

The Challenge

For this fourth edition, Girls Go Circular is inviting its female students and alumnae to dive into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and explore its potential to solve real-life societal challenges. Today’s world is increasingly influenced by AI, and young people need to understand how it works to critically assess its impact on society, use it ethically, and mitigate potential risks. This Student Challenge aims to equip students with essential AI knowledge, boost their creative and problem-solving skills, and empower them to enact positive change.

Participants will need to work in teams of three girls and come up with an idea for an AI tool to help reducing gender inequalities in the area of their choice (education, employment, sciences, arts, sports…). 

To showcase their idea, students will have to fill out a Design Thinking slide deck to develop their AI concept and to present it in a 3-minute pitch video in English. Students do not have to build an actual AI, but they will be asked to think about the purpose of their AI, the data needed to train their AI model, and the ethical and ecological implications surrounding its development (potential biases, privacy concerns, energy-consumption…). Coding is not required for this Challenge.

As a reward, one team from each project country will be invited to attend the Forum in person in Budapest on 8-11 October 2024! The travel costs for each selected team and one accompanying teacher will be covered by Girls Go Circular. The top three teams will even get to present their idea and compete for the Challenge Finale during the Women and Girls in STEM Forum!

The deadline to participate in the Student Challenge is 10 July 2024 (deadline extended).

Are you a teacher willing to join the Challenge with your students? Check out our dedicated Teacher Brochure.

Each team is asked to follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Start by taking this short gamified lesson to learn the basics of AI (40 min).

Step 2:

Identify a problem related to gender equality that you would like to help solving. It can be an inequality faced by women and girls at school, at work, in your city or country…

Step 3:

Brainstorm ideas for an AI tool that would help solving that problem. What will be the goal of your AI? How will it benefit the society?

Step 4:

Using this Design Thinking slide deck, design your own AI tool. Give it a name, design its user interface, think about its technical execution. Important: You do not have to build an actual AI tool.

Step 5:

Create a pitch video of maximum 3 minutes presenting the gender equality issue that you chose to address and how your AI tool will help solving it.

Step 6:

Submit your slide deck and video in English by 10 July 2024 using the upload form at the bottom of this webpage.

To develop your Design Thinking slide deck and create a quality pitch video, make sure you consider the following points:

Understanding the problem

The first step in coming up with your own AI idea is ensuring that your AI would contribute to helping gender equality in the area of your choice (school, health, music, cinema, politics…). Start by thinking about a field in which girls and women are discriminated or less represented. 

Defining goals

Once you find what gender equality issue you want to address, start brainstorming how an AI tool could help solving this issue. 

Collecting data

Once you have figured out the specific goals of your AI tool, you can start thinking about the data that it will require to function. AI tools learn from training data, so acquiring relevant, non-biased, high-quality data is essential.

Technical execution

Although we do not expect you to develop a functional AI, we want you to think about the techniques required by your AI: Would it use supervised or unsupervised learning? What cloud-based platform would you choose to host your data? Use the questions from the Design Thinking slide deck to reflect on the main characteristics of your AI tool.

Visual identity

Now it’s time to design your AI solution! Give it a name and a slogan, and design its logo and a mockup of its user interface. You can implement your ideas directly on the Design Thinking slide deck or create your own slides using the free templates available on Canva.

Recording your video

Time to pitch your idea! Record a video of maximum 3 minutes in English to present the gender equality issue you chose to address, and explain how your AI tool will help solve it. You do not have to repeat all the characteristics that you developed in your slide deck. The aim of your pitch video is to be creative and persuasive! Have fun with it!

Award criteria and prize

Students should think outside the box and develop a creative idea and pitch. The best teams will be selected based on the creativity and relevance of their AI idea, the quality of their research and thought process, and the persuasive power of their pitch.

Their submission will be reviewed and scored according to the following criteria:

Creativity and uniqueness
There are infinite ways to present and interpret the challenge, let us hear your voice! Think of an AI tool that is yours and unique. 
Quality of reasoning

Although you will not have to build your AI in real life, you should think as if you were planning to. Think about the questions in the Design Thinking slide deck and use your answers to narrow down the purpose of your AI and its main characteristics. Don’t forget to consider the legal, ethical and environmental implications of your AI tool as well.

Quality of design

Create a unique branding for your AI tool (name, logo, slogan, user interface).

Quality of verbal and non-verbal communication

Invest time in thinking and preparing your pitch video, including storytelling, dialogues, shots, and scenery.

Clear and compelling expression of message

Use your pitch video to clearly express your motivation and inspiration in coming up with this AI tool. How will it help reduce gender inequalities in this area, and why did you choose to work on this specific issue?

Your proposals will be evaluated by an expert jury. The best team from each project country will be invited to attend the Women and Girls in STEM Forum in person in Budapest in October 2024. They will stay in Budapest for at least two nights, get to explore the city, and make friends from all over Europe! All the travel expenses for the selected team and the accompanying teacher will be covered by Girls Go Circular.

Teacher’s role in the challenge

As a teacher, you can encourage your students to gain knowledge, experience and confidence in engaging with modern technologies such as AI. This challenge will equip them with essential skills for their future careers: creative-thinking, problem-solving and digital skills.

Moreover, if a team from your class wins the national selection round, you will get the chance to accompany them to Budapest to participate in the Women and Girls in STEM Forum. Your school will also be offered high-level European visibility during the Student Challenge.

Please share the information about this challenge with your students, motivate them to participate, and support them in developing their ideas!

Uploading the materials

One submission per team!

Checklist of items to be submitted:

  • Your Design Thinking slide deck showing your thought process.
  • Your pitch video presenting your AI tool in English (3 minutes max.)
  • The signed statement of consent for personal data processing (the template can be found below). Each team member must sign the consent form. In case of minors, the student’s parent or legal representative must sign.

 If you have any questions about the challenge, please contact us at: girlsgocircular@eitrawmaterials.eu.