„Girls GO Technology”, or Jawor tames Python in Krakow 

Why do girls from Lower Silesia “tame” programming in Krakow? What connects “Girls GO Technology” and FabLab Małopolska? How to “get along” with a computer and where did the name of one of the most popular programming languages ​​come from? Why does Industry 4.0 need women? Last weekend, the second edition of the educational project created by Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland came to Krakow.

On April 26, as part of the educational cycle of “Girls GO Technology, or girls tame technology”, there was a workshop in the creative space of FabLab. “How to get along with a computer? Programming. ”The originator of the project is Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing Poland (MBMPL), which is the company responsible for the first Daimler factory in Poland. The program was created for the immediate neighbours of the newly built plant in Jawor, i.e. students from high schools and technicians from the region, and its goal is to inspire young women to broaden their horizons and their presence in the field of new technologies, engineering and IT. This is very important, because although women are beginning to play an increasingly important role in the field of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), their participation in exact sciences is still quite small.J- We created “Girls GO Technology” because we want young women to reject restrictive beliefs and boldly think about technical professions. Industry 4.0 needs women and their openness, creative thinking, accuracy, precision and organizational skills – says Ewa Łabno-Falęcka, Director of Communication and External Relations. – Smart factories such as the one being built in Jawor are great places to learn innovative solutions and new things. Today, women constitute 36% of the crew, but I believe that it will rise to at least 50% – she added. Aworzanki came to Krakow at the invitation of FabLab Małopolska, a new Krakow laboratory for modern education. It’s a creative space for hobbyists, DIY enthusiasts, modelers, architects, artists and engineers who, using the available materials and tools, can create prototypes of new devices and inventions. As intended, under the FabLab Małopolska brand, workshops will be created in selected cities in which the inhabitants of the region will be able to realize their passions. – The “Girls GO Technology” project is part of the activities undertaken by FabLab Małopolska, which is why we want to actively participate in them. The development of technology, the dissemination of practical knowledge and inspiration for action are the values ​​that unite us and which we support – explains Jakub Hołysz from FabLab Małopolska. During the workshops, under the expert guidance of Indigobird, the producers of innovative software such as Stabilis for production management (MES), the girls learned the basics of Python. It’s one of the most popular programming languages ​​in the world, whose name comes not so much from the constrictor snake as it is from the popular comedy group Monty Python. During the workshop, participants tested installation of the Python and PyCharm CE environment and text file support, learned what the algorithm is, learned the basic elements of Python language and basic data structures, and – most importantly – created their first independent programming project.  – Programming teaches how to decompose problems into prime factors and how to achieve the set goal step by step. This is a very valuable skill, which then translates directly into success while implementing projects in both private and professional settings – said Piotr Mikołajczak, CEO of Indigobird. – I do not agree with the popular opinion that women are not predisposed to the IT specialist profession and I do not understand why we prepare them mainly for non-technical professions. By excluding women from the STEM area, we lose this valuable resource and at the same time deprive females of access to the most future-oriented and profitable professions. “Girls MUST GO Technology” – he added. “Girls GO Technology” was created in 2018, currently the second edition of the project is underway, and its partners are: Indigobird / Stabilis, Siemens Polska, Geek Girls Carrots, WSEZ “INVEST-PARK”, Educational Cluster Invest in EDU, Randstad Polska, Politechnika Wrocławska – Faculty of Technology and Life Sciences in Legnica and Seifert Polska. The program takes place in two stages. The first is addressed to all participants and is key to determining capabilities and interests. During the workshop “My personality and my career”, with the support of HR experts, the girls define their strengths, discover their talents and professional predispositions. The next stage is a series of monthly meetings for participants that tie their future with the STEM industry. Each meeting addresses a different topic in the field of future technologies, but not only. – The project was designed to teach girls to have faith in their own strength and efficient movement in the labour market. As part of the workshop, participants create websites, learn the basics of digital marketing, SEO, advertising and online privacy, get used to artificial intelligence and digitization of production, prepare business plans, practice public appearances and write CVs.

“Girls GO Technology” is not the only educational project run by MBMPL. The company cooperates with the Regional Centre for Vocational and Continuing Education in Jawor, where it is planned to create a sponsored class in the direction of “Mechatroniks”, with a modern curriculum and teaching equipment as well as a program of practical classes at the Mercedes-Benz engine factory. The company was also involved in the Siemens ‘4.0 Engineers’ program, targeted at students from technical universities, which aims to increase their digital competence in the area of ​​Industry 4.0.