In the age of automation the future is creative, so FINCH are sharing the tools young women need to shape the future.
In our quest to evolve the way we tell stories with technology, we have discovered a responsibility to provide a pathway for emerging technologists and make sure that gender equality and diversity is actively promoted. We recently went through a recruitment process to hire 2-3 creative technologists. Employment coordinators at Sydney based universities sent us CV’s of graduating mechatronic engineers looking to work in storytelling innovation. Of the 67 applicants, only 2 were female.
A male dominated tech industry means our potential for innovation is limited. The statistics, globally, show that half of the human race is underrepresented in an sector that’s mission critical to our future.
In Australia only 16 per cent of STEM-qualified people are female.” – Mark Scott, Secretary of the NSW Department of Education.
We need to ignite a passion for creativity expressed through technology in young women or we are all stuffed. Innovation requires diversity. Women solve different kinds of problems differently because they create from who they are in the world and the challenges that are unique to them. That’s why we need diversity in tech, more women means more possibility.
Creatable is a future focused / industry linked way to build confidence and capacity in all things STEM, empowering young minds to shape the future. We do this by teaching technology in the context of creativity.
Aligned with Stage 5 of the Australian Design and Technology Syllabus, Creatable is a 12 month project based learning curriculum that FINCH has designed based on our own innovation cycle or process. Put simply, we think of an idea, try and build a basic version it, test what we’ve made and then improve or refine it by thinking “how can we make this better?”. Innovation stops being a product and it starts being a process, a process we can actually teach.
FINCH strategists and technologists take students on a ‘build your own idea’ creative journey that explores this process with real world problems in real world environments. By leading with design thinking and creative problem solving, we build personal interest in the innovation process, teaching technology in context. It’s future focused, not just in tools, but also in pedagogy – which is the method or way we teach. We focus on 21st century skills for 21st century workplaces as well as bridging the education / industry divide by creating a real world environment for students to express their curiosity and ultimately find their creative voice.
Our pilot program began with a 2017 class at St Scholastica’s College, a Sydney girls private school. At the heart of the curriculum is a creative journey that explores and applies innovation from ideation through to prototype. We take students through our creative process by helping them investigate everyday problems, ideate, pitch, design experiences and rapidly prototype their ideas. Creatable teaches young women how to channel their creativity through technology, giving them a platform to build resilience and realise their potential.
What Creatable does better than anyone else, is ignite creative ambition, engaging and inspiring all, with a particular focus on dramatically increasing female participation. In 2017 we saw student enrolments in Year 9 Design & Technology increase 625% after just one year of teaching this curriculum in the pilot school. In 2018 we are taking 140 students through the program from some of Sydney’s most prestigious and credible schools – Kambala, SCEGGS, St Catherine’s and St Scholastica’s College. These schools have also included their TAS staff in the lessons for teacher professional learning and development.
Creatable is the alchemy that occurs when the different parts of our company converge to inspire young people to express their creativity through technology. It’s one thing to have a group of engineers teaching STEM, it’s another thing entirely when artists, technologists, strategists and storytellers work together to imagine a learning experience that empowers young minds to shape the future.