“IT Girls” have donated Arduino sets all over Bosnia and Herzegovina

Through the campaign “IT Girls are coming to your schools” sets of Arduino equipment were provided to ten schools in order to stimulate and encourage girls to take up science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Almir Panjeta for UNICEF
IT Girls radionica
UNICEF/Balic

03 July 2019

The representatives of “IT Girls” and “Bit Alliance” have visited primary education schools across Bosnia and Herzegovina where they provided the students and teacher of the respective institutions with ten Arduino sets which will help them teach programming and building electrical circuitry. In November of 2018, the representatives of “IT Girls”, a project supported by three UN agencies - UNDP, UNICEF i UN Women, along with  “Bit Alliance” started a crowdfunding campaign named “ IT Girls are coming to your schools” in order to provide sets of Arduino equipment for nine schools and encourage girls to take on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. After the successful crowdfunding campaign, the resources were redirected into equipping the tenth school with the necessary equipment.

“Through various research, not only in Bosnia and Herzegovina but in the EU as well, we have realized that on the labor market, specifically the in the realm of ICT sector women are underrepresented up to two to three times than men. We wanted to do something about it, so we started the “IT Girls” initiative in 2015, with the aim of working towards the inclusion of girls and women in the ICT sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Erma Mulabdić from the initiative “IT Girls”. Mulabdić stressed how the main endeavor of the initiative is to achieve equal chances for boys and girls to take up information technologies and develop their own informatics and robotics projects.

“The teachers from the schools that receive the Arduino sets were part of training in Sarajevo during which they learned new skills at assembling electronic projects and gaining new experience, which they will share with their students in schools. In the next school year, IT Girls will revisit the schools and their coding associations in order to support the development of their electronic projects,” said Tanja Madžarević, the coordinator of “IT Girls” initiative.

Nastavnici i nastavnice iz škola koje su dobile setove bili su na obuci u Sarajevu, gdje su se okušali u sklapanju elektroničkih projekata, a to znanje će dalje prenositi učenicama. U narednoj školskoj godini, “IT Girls” će ponovo posjetiti sve škole i klubove kodiranja, te ih podržati u izradi njihovih elektroničkih projekata
UNICEF/Balic
Djevojcice na IT Girls Arduino radionici
UNICEF/Balic

After the distribution of the Arduino sets and certificates, the girl trainees had the opportunity to show their teachers their projects and gadgets that they had developed during the month-long training in the newly established “IT Girls Arduino Club” supported by the school’s curriculum.

“ ‘IT Girls’ are a world organization that teaches girls how to code,” said Larisa Suljović, a student from the “Behaudin Selmanović” primary school in Sarajevo. During the distribution of one of the Arduino sets, Larisa, as well as her school mates, couldn’t hide their content with the valuable assets that their school was receiving and the opportunities it will create for gaining practical knowledge. The teachers took part in the project with high enthusiasm, which was rewarded with the support of the schools’ management who recognized the importance of the initiative:

“The teachers communicated the aim and the importance of this project, so I was really amazed by the impressions they had of the seminar held in Sarajevo. I hope that the project will be maintained in the years to come, as well as hoping for our collaboration to strengthen through the years,” said Fuad Konjević, the principal of the “Ključ” primary school. Positive feedback was also shared by Elvedin Delalić, the principal of the “Cazin II” primary school:

“Our school which teaches 697 students has always gladly participated in these kinds of projects. The Arduino sets that we have received will surely be of use to our teachers and students in their efforts to perfect their IT skills.”

“IT Girls” is an initiative of the employers and employees of the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina with the aim of encouraging girls and women to start thinking from early on about ICT oriented careers. Moreover, it strives to include girls in the world of programming and programming languages in order to develop an interest in the ICT sector and increase the probability of taking on an ICT related education and career path.  The “IT Girls” initiative has actively worked since 2015. to increase the inclusion of all girls and women of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the ICT sector of the country.