TechWomen empowers the next generation of women leaders in technology. The program sends women from the MENA region to Northern California for mentorship. These women also take part in an exchange program in Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.
Mariam Haidar is one of the TechWomen beneficiaries. Mariam is a computer science graduate working in education across Lebanon and Syria. She worked as an Area Manager and Program Manager for DOT Lebanon. While at DOT, her passion for approaching education in new innovative ways grew.
Living in Beirut, I knew that accessibility wasn't as urgent a problem as it was in other parts of the country. EDUTEK focuses on exposing youth to STEAM in the Bekaa Valley. I identified this as a region where EDUTEK's services would have the greatest impact. I am passionate about creating digital solution for inclusion and better learning experiences. My goal is to build young, confident minds by using project-based learning. EDUTEK beneficiaries learn 21st century skills like digital literacy, problem solving, and collaboration.
TechWomen gave me the opportunity to learn more about my field. I am eager to familiarize myself with new technologies and how to merge STEAM and learning. I need tools and support to scale up my business and transform it to a full academy.
Being a TechWomen emerging leader has opened a many doors for me. I've had the chance to visit high tech companies like Mozilla, Facebook, Yahoo and more. I have met amazing people and am inspired by their journey. I had the chance to attend workshops that built my leadership and networking skills. I visited CyArk a non profit organization based in Oakland, California. They are using 3D technology to create a free online library of cultural heritage sites. They target sites at risk of destruction by natural disasters and human aggression. These organization's focus on human-centered design inspired e to think more about EDUTEK.
Part TechWomen also included identifying community problems and solutions related to STEAM. We pitched our solution for a chance to win funding for implementation once we are back in our country.
TechWomen mentorship focused on developing project based lessons and digital educational resources. The goal was to digitally connect students with their heritage. Students left with a deeper appreciation of different cultures and preserving heritage. All this was relevant because of the destruction of heritage in the Middle East during war time.
Mariam's project also focused on three main areas:
- Providing the students with a virtual experience of visiting archaeological sites. 3D archaeological Data created by CyArk made this possible.
- Providing teachers with the guidance on getting students to conduct archaeological trips. Also encourage students to take photos and transform them into 3D prints. Autodesk design programs supported this process.
- Give teachers guidance on integrating archaeological sites in their lessons. Doing so make the learning experience more interactive and engaging. This served to introduce students to STEAM through technologies like 3D printing. It also encouraged integrating tech into subjects like mathematics, arts, and sciences.
Read more about TechWomen here: https://www.techwomen.org/