About


Empower Girls Creativity Through Use of Digital Technologies (SparkDigiGirls) project aims to encourage girls to explore digital technologies such as AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), AI (Artificial Intelligence), IoT (Internet of things) and come up with new and exciting ideas by utilizing their newly acquired digital knowledge to chart the waters of the male-dominated STEM industry with fresh, different, and creative viewpoints.   

Two years duration project is implemented in Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia, Portugal and funded by the Erasmus+ strategic partnership in the youth field. 

Over the course of the project the consortium of partners will aim to tackle stereotypes and societal beliefs on gender and technology, strengthen girls’ digital literacy skills, open up new opportunities for creativity, and encourage girls to pursue IT or STEM studies. An online training program tailored to girls' needs will also be set up. Finally, the project will run a campaign of success stories of women in technology, and will invite girls and youth workers to join the project activities.  

Results


The main target groups that will be impacted by the project:

  • 200 girls age from 15 – 18 who wish to develop their creativity by using digital technologies (including girls with lower opportunities like living in remote areas, migrant girls, from families at risk).
  • 30 youth workers from formal and non - formal youth education institutions (schools, youth NGOs, libraries, training centers, etc.)

Concrete project results:

A twofold analysis of ways how innovative and new technologies may develop creativity of girls.

The prepared Report presents key findings of completed two-fold analysis: round table discussions and case studies. The Report specifically focuses on what technologies may impact 13 to 18 years old girls’ creativity and suggests ways of how to increase girls' interest in computer science and technology. Moreover, the report clearly sets the learning scenarios and crucially provides a way to help girls build better, more interesting learning experiences through exploring digital technologies and finding creative solutions to given real life situations. 

Link to the Report SparkDigiGirls Report

A curriculum development

As a result of this activity, it is expected that the curriculum will attract more attention of girls set to engage in the online course and will serve as a support document on how they could navigate independently through online training materials. The programme topics will be chosen based on real life problems/situations of interest to the girls. It is also believed that youth workers from formal and non-formal education organisations could use the curriculum to attract girls to the online course.

An online course development

Set of online training materials will be developed during the course. The training programme focus on innovative learning and thus differ from prior courses. This includes: i) use practical experimental learning model and real-life tasks for promoting creativity and improving digital skills; ii) innovative means choosing new and interesting digital applications and tools for youth, specifically for girls; iii) exploration of technologies in a way to allow girls to come up with new and exciting ideas and solutions for given problems. The online course will be focused mostly on practical tasks with the focus on mastering basic knowledge and skills in innovative technologies.

Digital female role model campaign

The project partners decided to develop a digital Female Role Model Campaign addressed at countering negative stereotypes on computer science and technology among girls. The campaign will address participant girls and then youth workers.

Guidebook empower youth workers as mentors to pursue girls’ creativity through usage of digital applications

The guidebook will provide information on how to activate and support youth workers as mentors to pursue girls’ creativity through the use of digital applications. Guidelines will include best practices, toolkits and other useful information for youth workers from formal and non-formal education institutions like schools, youth NGOs, public libraries, community centres, various education providers and other stakeholders.

 


News


Partners


Information Technologies Institute
http://www.ecdl.lt
The Computer Technology Institute and Press "Diophantus" (CTI) in Greece was established in 1985 as a non-profit Research Organization, directly supervised by the Ministry of Education and closely affiliated to academia. It is a research and technology organization focusing on research and development in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). CTI provides an integrated environment that supports basic and applied research, as well as the design and development of systems, products and solutions. Currently it employs around 200 scientists, researchers, engineers and administrative personnel.


Instituto Politecnico de Tomar
http://www.ipt.pt


Simbioza Genesis
http://www.simbioza.eu
Simbioza Genesis, social enterprise, was founded in May 2014 as a consequence of an organic growth from a 2011 project ‘Simbioz@ e-literate Slovenia’. The principle activities are based on empowering people with digital literacy through inter-generational cooperation. The organization combines the energy of the young volunteers with the experiences of the seniors to prepare both target groups for a digital future. The activities include workshops and youth trainings nationwide by providing unique mutual learning opportunities.


Rural Internet Access Points
https://vipt.lt
Rural Internet Access Points Association Association "Viesieji interneto prieigos taskai" (eng.- Rural Internet Access Points) has been operating in Lithuania since 2006. Non-governmental non-profit organization was founded by professionals who have been working in the field of ICT, adults/youth education for more than 17 years. The goal of the Association is to enable local individuals and institutions to build key elements of modern and vibrant society through promotion of new information and communication technologies (further - ICT), expansion of access to the Internet resources and improvement of quality of education.


Hellenic Open University
https://www.eap.gr/
Hellenic Open University (HOU) is the only Greek State University that offers formal and non-formal lifelong distance education. HOU participates in this project through the DAISSy Research Group of the School of Science and Technology. The group realizes society-centred educational and technological research, develops online learning platforms and digital and citizenship skills, promotes inclusion and multiculturalism, and adopts standards. For more information, contact us at info@daissy.eap.gr and visit us at www.eap.gr and daissy.eap.gr.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.Agreement number: Project No. 2020-1-LT02-KA227-YOU-007294

On 28 April, the RIAP Association invited teenage girls to a one-day technology camp at the Šiauliai Povilas Višinskis Library on the occasion of the International Day for Girls and Technology.

The camp was organised within the framework of the international project "Girls in the Digital World: Smart and Creative" (SparkDigiGirls), funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Youth Programme. 

The project aims to encourage girls to explore digital technologies and to offer ideas for a new and creative approach to a tech field still dominated by men. 

"Girls have a good understanding of how Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, reading e-books and surfing the web work. But what they lack is information on how different technologies can be useful in their daily lives," says Laura Grinevičiūtė, Director of the RIAP Association, adding that her organisation is currently working with partners to develop educational materials aimed at allowing girls to use their imagination to explore technologies such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing, augmented reality, coding and so on in real-life examples. Such hands-on experiences could, she said, increase girls' interest in IT while they are still at school.

During the camp, the teenage girls tried out a newly developed coding activity with Scratch. They created a game to virtually model a garment they wanted. Using their imagination and coding tools, the girls managed to create some great and original works. 

Com o objetivo de analisar os fatores que dificultam a entrada das mulheres nas TI

Addressing the factors hindering women's entry into IT, the RIAP Association, together with organisations from Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia and Portugal, launched in May 2021 the project "Girls in the Digital World: Smart and Creative", which aims to engage 15-18 girls in digital technologies (such as artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, Internet of Things, robotics) through their creative use in their everyday activities.

Over the two years of the project, the association and its partners will aim to change stereotypes and societal beliefs about the female gender and technology, to strengthen digital literacy skills and open up new opportunities for creativity, and to encourage girls to pursue IT or STEM studies after leaving school.
The international project "Girls in a digital world: smart and creative" is funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Youth Programme.

A participação das raparigas nas STEM

Girls' participation (or lack of it) in STEM and ICT has become an important issue for business, education and policy makers. In response to today's issues, the report presented in this report has been produced as part of the Erasmus project SparkDigiGirls. The project aims to identify the factors that hinder girls and young women from pursuing a career in ICT and to provide tools and guidelines to address these issues. 
The report summarises roundtable discussions with 37 experts working in the IT sector, education organisations and the public sector in Lithuania, Greece, Slovenia and Portugal. The insights gathered show that gender stereotypes persist, as well as misconceptions about the nature of ICT work. It also highlights the importance of teachers and educators, as well as the visibility of female role models in the field. Investing in concrete and creative activities in ICT is also a crucial factor in stimulating girls' interest in the field.

Sabia que...

Did you know that...* In primary school, boys and girls are almost equally likely to want to work in a science-related field. However, in older grades, girls' attitudes and opinions are changing, and they are more likely to choose careers in social, environmental and medical fields over science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and ICT studies. This is due to preconceptions, lack of role models and other reasons that limit girls' ability to fully benefit from the opportunities offered by digital transformation. The RIAP Association, together with partners from Lithuania, Portugal, Slovenia and Greece in the international project SparkDigiGirls, is looking for solutions to how IT careers and interest in technology should be developed while still in school.

Reunião de parceiros em Vilnius

In the last days of the summer, RIAP Association was happy to host the SparkDigiGirls partners meeting in Lithuania. Representatives from Greece, Lithuania, Slovenia and Portugal gathered for the two-day event.
As a new learning programme will be developed at the end of next year to foster girls' interest in technology, the partners' meeting focused on finding solutions and proposals for the new distance learning programme and its content.
During the meeting, experts in their respective fields shared their knowledge on the latest innovative technologies, digital tools, suggested topics and scenarios that would break the stereotypes of girls in technology and increase their interest in IT and its application in their everyday activities or favourite fields.

Reunião dos parceiros da SparkDigiGirls

The RIAP association is launching the 2-year Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships funded project "Creativity and Digital Technology Skills for Girls". According to statistics, only 9% of girls choose STEM studies after leaving school. What's more, around 40% of school-age girls think that technology is not for them. To challenge existing stereotypes and strengthen girls' interest in digital technologies, the Association, together with partners from Greece, Slovenia, Lithuania and Portugal, will encourage girls (aged 15-18) to engage with technologies such as Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things and learn how to use them creatively in everyday life situations. The meeting of the two partners, on 20 and 24 May, focused on the project, its progress and upcoming activities.

7-8 June The second partner meeting of the international SparkDigiGirls project took place in Athens, Greece, on 7-7 June. Representatives from the Public Internet Access Points Association, the Public Information Technology Institute and other partners from Slovenia, Greece and Portugal attended the meeting.
The meeting focused on the development of a new distance learning programme aimed at stimulating girls' interest in technology, and on the presentation of solutions and training content.
The programme will be available in five languages for girls aged 13-18 this autumn. If you are interested in the project and would like to participate in the pilot phase of the new programme in the autumn, we welcome your emails to: asociacija@vipt.lt.
Link to the website: http://digigirls.eu/. The project is funded by the #Erasmusplus programme.

Célio Gonçalo Marques, director of the Laboratory of Pedagogical Innovation and Distance Education (LIED) and professor at the ICT Unit of the Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, participated as an invited speaker through videoconference, in the 1st International Staff week - Higher education for global understanding, with the communication: "The use of digital technologies to develop girls' creativity: paths and practices in Greece, Lithuania, Portugal, and Slovenia", which took place in Tomar on 9 June 2022. The communication focused on the Erasmus+ project “SparkDigiGirls”, which aims to Empower Girls’Creativity Through the Use of Digital Technologies. 

As part of the international Work in Tech project, the RIAP  Association is organising a series of remote meetings called "Afternoon Discussions" for female participants. During these discussions, we invite IT and non-IT professionals to share their knowledge and experience. During the first meeting with psychologist Jūrate Bortkevičienė, we talked about the job search in IT, women's expectations of themselves and ways to overcome fears and achieve what they want.

"Leader, will you organise a camp next year?" "Leader, I'll be 14 next year, will you accept children of that age for the camp? ", "Boss, I have already booked a place for next year". These and other questions were the end of the children's summer camp "Vacation smart and creative" organised by the association "Public Internet Access Points".

This year, as part of the "TAPK2" project funded by the Education Exchange Support Fund, the VIPT Association invited 37 children to a seven-day camp in the heart of Varniai. "We are already organising the eighth season of summer camps and we are very happy that we are receiving not only new arrivals, but also children returning to the camp for the second, third and fourth time," says the organisation's director Laura Grinevičiūtė. - Very often parents read the advertisement about the camp and are scared by the IT activities, thinking that their child will spend the whole day in front of the computer. But this is a misconception. The main goal of the camp is to enable a young person to develop his or her personality not only through technology, but also through a variety of educational, creative and teamwork-enhancing activities," adds the Director.

The seven-day camp programme is designed to ensure that children are not bored. During the IT activities, the campers created a game with Scratch, tried out various augmented reality tools such as Assembler and created interactive greetings with Canva. In addition to the IT activities, a lot of attention was paid to various creative explorations. During these activities, the children learnt how to work in teams, make decisions, find ideas and resolve conflicts. Building bridges with tools found in nature, building the tallest marshmallow tower, searching for treasure in Varniai are just some examples of teamwork. And then there are various educational activities, such as learning to write in Samogitian, drawing on a bag, searching for the most precious Lithuanian flower in the Cloud Forest, meeting the Riflemen, events, dances and other fun activities.

"For my son Tomas, this was the first overnight camp", says Liubovė, the mother of the camper Tomas.  He came home with great emotions and impressions. Even now, at the end of the camp, he still remembers and tells us new things about the camp, the activities and his friends. I am also happy to have discovered this camp," adds Liubovė.

In the first days of autumn, partners of the SparkDigiGirls project took part in the third partner meeting in Portugal. Tomar, a tourist and cultural city, is home to the Tomar Vocational Training Institute.
The two-day meeting was aimed at familiarising the participants with the activities of the vocational training institute, the smart laboratories located there, testing the innovations developed there, discussing the results of the project, and planning future works. A newly developed distance learning course Unleash Your CreativITy With Technology for
young and curious girls was presented. Girls aged 15-18 will be exposed to the possibilities of technology through the training programme. Through completing the challenges, they will learn about technologies such as artificial intelligence, augmented reality, the Internet of Things, programming, 3D modelling and printing, cloud computing, blockchain, how they
work and, most importantly, how they can be creatively used in girls’ everyday life.

The pilot training of the Unleash Your CreativITy With Technology distance learning programme will start in January next year. In this autumn, there will be an active preparation phase to select the youth workers and girls who want to participate in the training. There will be events and campaigns inviting young people to join the project activities. A total of 200 girls and 50 youth workers from Slovenia, Lithuania, Greece and Portugal will be able to test and evaluate the course.

The international project is implemented by Simbioza from Slovenia, Hellenic Open University from Greece, the Institute of Information Technology from Lithuania, the Tomar Vocational Training Institute from Portugal and managed by the Association Rural Internet Access Points from Lithuania. The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships for Youth Programme