Marita Cheng

  • Founder, Aubot Academy
  • Australia

Impact area: Education; Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4

Marita Cheng founded Aubot Academy in 2020. The organization encourages girls to pursue computer science as a field of study and career and offers them the opportunity to receive a comprehensive computer science education while in school.

“As a 10-year-old girl, growing up in a small and remote town in Australia, I dreamed of learning coding, but there was nowhere for me to learn,” Marita says. “I started Robogals to get girls interested in robotics and engineering in 2008, and it continues to grow and thrive globally. Thirteen years later, the course that I would have wanted to learn when I was 10 still didn’t exist, so I created it. This course works for girls in small and remote towns, even in a Covid world, as it is offered virtually, and it’s designed to be accessible to those from low socio-economic backgrounds. There is a huge demand for software engineers, yet only 18 percent of computer science graduates are women, and women make up just 14 percent of technical roles in the workforce. Our program will allow girls from anywhere in Australia, including rural and regional areas, to learn CS from home, weekly, in groups of 10, enabling them to make friends with like-minded individuals from all over the country. Girls are taught by female engineering university students who will act as role models.”

The Global Youth Resiliency Fund will help Marita and her team achieve the following goals:

  • Teach 200 girls to code, developing their coding skills and self-confidence.
  • Train 50 engineering student teachers to teach coding, developing their leadership and communication skills.
  • Create additional 6,000 coding exercises (to add to our existing 12,000 coding exercises), catering for kids in preschool to year 9.
  • Invest in the local community by building a small team of software engineers to create coding exercises and to maintain the coding platform.

Learn more about Aubot Academy here.