Winners of Only Girls Allowed Competition
The winners of the computing competition aimed at girls aged 11 to 12 years old have been announced by Edward Zammit Lewis, Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth. The aim of the competition, aptly called ‘Only Girls Allowed’, was to encourage young female students to take-up computing studies.
‘Only Girls Allowed’ was organised by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) together with the Faculty of Education at the University of Malta, the eLearning Centre within the Directorates for Quality and Standards in Education (DQSE) and Educational Services (DES), and supported by Microsoft.
To participate, girls teamed up in groups of two or three and with the help of a school teacher or mentor they created a 3D game using ‘Kodu’ or an interactive story using ‘Storytelling Alice’. The competition was a huge success: MITA evaluated 49 digital entries by 125 girls hailing from 13 different schools (public, church and private).
The computing competition was a targeted initiative intended for girls of Forms 1 and 2 with a view to encouraging a choice in technical subjects, a choice which statistics in Malta and Europe indicate as being increasingly unattractive to female students. The aim of this competition was to demystify "code" and show that everyone is able to be a maker, a creator, and an innovator in a digital economy.
During a press event held at St Theresa College, Girls Secondary School in Mrieħel, Hon Zammit Lewis stated, “ICT is not only an important subject but is also a core enabler for Malta’s thriving digital economy”. Hon Zammit Lewis added that such intiatives are a step in the right direction in raising more awareness amongst females that ICT is not only for males and that a career in ICT could be exciting, challenging and with great rewards.
MITA’s Corporate Strategist, Mr Charles Formosa said, “over the years MITA’s remit has evolved and the Agency is now responsible also of implementing various initiatives that ensure that our society makes the best possible use of technology not only to add value in their lives but also to ensure that nobody is left behind.”
Projects were judged on creativity, originality, fun factor and technical quality. The winners from the Storytelling Alice category were Miriana Borg, Gabriella Falzon, and Shania Dimech from St Theresa College, Girls Secondary School, Mrieħel. The winners for the Kodu category were Kimberly Grima and Megan Portelli from St Thomas More College, Girls Secondary School, St Lucia.