Fairfax Media has joined the global Tech Girls Movement to launch the 2016 Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign at Google.
The Tech Girls Movement is a non-profit organisation, which promotes the opportunities afforded by careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, through storytelling.
As part of the campaign, the national competition, Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero, challenges Australian female students to build an app prototype that will make their communities better places.
The winning team has the chance to fly to San Francisco to attend Silicon Valley's global Technovation app pitch challenge.
Tech Girls Movement founder Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen is pictured left with Emma Yap, 9, who designed a car pooling app. Dr Beekhuyzen said the online program was designed to reach girls in regional areas.
“I really wanted to engage young people from other places to show they can also get the same skills and compete with those who come from the city,” Dr Beekhuyzen said.
Fairfax Media chief information officer Robyn Elliott said Fairfax was focused on fostering a more diverse and equal workforce across all parts of its business, particularly in technology.
"Diversity brings innovation and creativity, which ultimately drives better decision-making and leads to improved company performance," she said.
"By supporting the Tech Girls Movement we have the opportunity to connect with and inspire the next generation of technology leaders."
The second edition of the Tech Girls Are Superheroes book was released on Tuesday, following the success of the first edition, released in 2014 and distributed free to more than 20,000 students across Australia.
Google Australia engineering community and outreach manager Sally-Ann Williams said it was important girls were introduced to computer science and coding early to overcome stereotypes that exist.
Fairfax Media is the publisher of the Narooma News.
The campaign comes as the University of Sydney demands, from 2016, that year 12 students have completed at least two-unit mathematics to enter 62 courses, including economics, commerce, engineering and IT, psychology, pharmacy, vet science and science. The move is amid a growing crisis in science, technology, engineering and maths.