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“Incredibly important” girls choose career in tech says movie maker ToonSpaghetti creator

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It is “incredibly important” to encourage girls into careers in tech, according to Berlin based heavy metal guitarist and primary school teacher Leah Hinton who co-founded education app firm TechSpaghetti.

This month the company launched movie maker platform ToonSpaghetti with the aim of helping children develop their creative thinking skills and to support teachers in teaching the IT curriculum.

Designed for ages 5+ the app uses the “Spaghetti Sense” method of teaching, designed by Hinton, to create stories, add music and special effects with the help of Ugo the Alien. The children are then taught to share their finished movies online via social media. Hinton’s method is designed to prepare children for the challenges of the 21st century, by teaching them the important of creative thinking.

Originally from New Zealand Hinton now lives and teaches in Berlin. Speaking to WeAreTheCity Hinton said: “Lots of schools are struggling to meet the digital needs of the IT curriculum. There is not only a lack of women working within technology, but also teaching technology.

“It is incredibly important to get more girls into tech. 80% of household spending is done by women, so we need more women designing the products that will appeal more to them.”

She said the app has been designed to appeal to both girls and boys to ensure girls remain as interested and engaged in learning about technology: “Even watching the way girls and boys play with the app. The girls want to create stories, whereas the boys want to just get more points to get to higher levels. It’s designed for both genders for that reason.”

The ToonSpaghetti app was developed and tested with the help of an advisory board made up of seven children, who were selected from 200 students.

TechSpaghetti was founded in 2014 by Hinton and her business partner Elliot Tabachnik.

Hinton explained: “I was teaching film at the time, as part of a Digital Arts curriculum I had designed, and we ran a red carpet screening of the movies and soundtracks made by the children. It was there that I met Elliot.

“We starting talking about how important creative thinking is for children growing up in such a fast paced world and so we decided to come up with a way of sharing our method of learning with other children around the world. Technology is not just a tech subject, it is life. The world is now a global village that has decided to communicate digitally.”

Hinton said TechSpaghetti will be expanding in the near future but that the company is struggling to find the necessary talent: “We are looking for an iOS developer ourselves and we’re struggling to find talent, particularly female candidates.”

ToonSpaghetti Movie Maker for Kids: Music Play is now available for free in the Apple App Store.

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