Introducing Project Prep – a book to inform, amaze, and inspire
While it is important that we encourage women already in the tech sector to aim for top positions and shine a light on the top-women who paved the way for more diversity in tech, it is far more important to educate and inspire the next generation. Unfortunately, it seems, it is still necessary to remind the world that tech is not just for boys, but for girls too.
The Inspiring Fifty team is delighted to have launched the first Dutch edition in a series of novels for children and young adults titled ‘Project Prep’. In collaboration with renowned children’s author Niki Smit, we have created a smart, funny, and engaging novel aimed for 10-14 year olds.
Project Prep was launched on 17 June 2015 in the Netherlands, where we were truly honoured to have the first edition of the book be received by HM Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. The introduction of the novel has been written by Neelie Kroes, Board member of Uber and Salesforce and one of the Inspiring Fifty.
On April 21 2016, a localised edition of Project Prep launched in Sweden at kids tech conference Sime Next. We were delighted to have famous influential youtuber Clara Henry write the introduction for this edition.
In addition to a Dutch and Swedish edition of the book, we launched a special American edition during the Dutch Startup Fest Europe week in May. We plan to release a UK version of the book later this year.
The Aim of the Book
The story’s main character Isabel emerges as a strong role model, immediately relatable as readers follow her on her own technological and entrepreneurial journey.
We took on the book with three key goals in mind:
– Engage and inspire 10-14 year old girls and young women with a story for them, a story about them; highlighting how real, how exciting, and how cool a career path in technology can actually be.
– Encourage girls to pursue science and mathematics education, not just as school requisites but, instead, as some of the most fun and most important of their classes.
– Catalyse widespread support for and additional investment in technology and entrepreneur education, both theoretical (e.g., history, philosophies of) and practical (e.g., coding); and to leverage that to drive new standards for our primary and secondary students, bringing these topics on par with others.
Project Prep – the story…
Our 13 year-old hero, Isabel, does not understand clothes. For her, pulling the right pieces out of her closet is a big mystery, yet she wants more than anything to arrive at school in style. Luckily there is Kate, her best friend and fashion genius. But, sadly, Kate is not always around. They should make an app of her, Isabel is thinking. Hmm… “How to automate Kate?” she asks.
Hello, technology! Isabel learns how to code, and her fashion app is born, Project Prep, but that is only the beginning. Having an idea, launching an app, even getting into Apple’s app store – those were huge hurdles to clear. And alongside those came the other big steps: being an entrepreneur, building a team, and managing a technology company. All of these challenges prove to be quite daunting – scary sometimes, too – but also a lot of fun!
And speaking of things that are scary, daunting, and fun, it’s not all business for our Isabel! Along the way, she gets some long-distance help from Tyler in New York City. Is she going to fall in love with a super nerd, or not? As with all things Project Prep, only time will tell…
Since we have launched in the Netherlands and Sweden, we will continue to roll out local editions globally. Watch this space for news and updates!