- Volunteer Opportunities- WA
- Volunteer Opportunities- CA
- Volunteer FAQ
- Speaking on a Panel Flyer
- Panel Training
IGNITE Panel FAQ
- 1. How does this work?
a.Find a Panel you’d like to speak on and sign up
b. Read our Panel Prep Flyer and watch the Program Overview Video
c. Listen to the 20 minutes Panel Training
d. The teacher will email you a couple weeks before the event to check in and give you any important details about the school (parking, checking in, etc)
e. Speak on the Panel and inspire!
- 2. How do I sign up?
- 3. How do I learn about events?
- 4. Where will events be held?
At different middle and high schools in the greater Seattle area.
- 5. How should I dress?
Wear whatever you usually would- we want students to see that all types of women work in STEM careers.
- 6. I didn't graduate/ don’t have a STEM degree but work in a STEM field- what should I say about that?
It’s great that you are successful despite following a nontraditional path, however it is increasingly more competitive and difficult to do this (and to move around once you have a career). If you were a teenager today what would you tell yourself about taking STEM classes and preparing for your future? Even a 2 year STEM degree could make a difference in creating an attainable future in STEM.
- 7. Should I create a Powerpoint or slide deck of some kind?
Having a visual or hands on item can be really helpful and help engage your audience. If you have one or two photos you’d like to share we are happy to have them. You’ll have 3-7 minutes to talk so it is important to be thoughtful about what will most effectively illustrate your career/journey. That said, the story you are telling is the highlight and slides or ppt can be distracting or uninteresting- if you choose to include them please be mindful that your personal story is about you and not about the history of the industry. Girls respond best to photos of you at their age, something cool you are currently working on, etc.
- 8. Will I get to know my co-panel members beforehand?
IGNITE SPEAKER PREPARATION INSTRUCTIONS
How to Speak on an IGNITE PanelThe most powerful part of any IGNITE event is the time that our volunteers get to share their story with our students. Whether it's a programming workshop, a company tour, or IGNITE Panel Presentation at the schools, the time for the self-identifying girls and non-binary students to interact with you is an invaluable experience. The reason we have such low statistics for women in STEM is because there are barriers of perception about these career choices. Self-identifying girls and non-binary students often think to themselves that they aren't smart enough, their grades aren't good enough, or that their home life isn't the ‘right’ kind for these jobs. Telling your story about the path you took to your STEM career will go a long way in inspiring them.
Each volunteer will have 3-5 minutes to tell their story and then time to answer questions. Focus on the following topics for your time:
- Why did you want to be here today? Telling self-identifying girls and non-binary students that you care and that you want them to know the opportunities that they have in high wage/high demand careers matters to you, and it makes it personal.
- What did you like to do when you were age 13-18?
- How did you find your interest in technology or engineering?
- What type of education choices did you make to lead you to your career, if any?
- Why would you suggest self-identifying girls and non-binary students take computer science or engineering classes at their school?
- Do they know what classes are available? Do they know why this is a great opportunity to sign up for these classes? Please tell the students why this is a great opportunity and sign up!
- What obstacles did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
- Please feel free to share your real story if you can. The self-identifying girls and non-binary students will be able to relate to someone's struggles. Show them that we all must overcome some obstacle in our lives to get where we want to go. The self-identifying girls and non-binary students you are speaking to need to hear that they can succeed even with these struggles. You might want to edit yourself but don't, authenticity cultivates connection. It helps them more than you can know to hear that you are not perfect, and that you did have obstacles that you had to overcome.
- What is your career and what do you like about your career now?
- Why would you encourage girls to consider going into technology or engineering careers?
It’s important that we make an impression on them now that will stay with them as they continue to make choices in education and future careers.
We all tell kids to follow their passions but girls often do not yet know if STEM careers could be their passion because they only either have negative views or no experience with these career choices at all. It is urgent that we take this time so they may understand what is available to them in STEM careers, that there is a career for every interest, and from there they can have the choice to find their passion in STEM.
Thank you for participating in this life changing program and for volunteering with IGNITE. Over the year’s people like you have changed many girls’ lives by hearing the stories and experiences that made the women of this world who they are today.
Tips: Bring something visual or tactile to help the girls understand what you do everyday – a prototype or pictures of your product or team or work environment helps them understand how you work.
Please log your volunteer hours with your company! Many companies will match your hours and this does a great deal in helping IGNITE grow.
WA Chapters: firstname.lastname@example.org
CA Chapters: email@example.com
Can't make a scheduled training call in? Listen to a pre-recorded version of the training here. Please reference the Panel FAQ in addition to listening to the recording. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Panel?
- 90 minutes with a group of students, usually over lunchtime
- Panelists speak 5-7 minutes each, sharing their story
- 45-60 minute Q&A with students- our favorite part!
What to share on an IGNITE Panel:
- Obstacles you overcame
- The path you took and how it led you to where you are today
- Why girls should take technical classes at school, such as Computer Science and Engineering
- Why they should never give up-- because it’s giving up on yourself, and you must believe in yourself. Even if you don’t feel it, you must keep going. Don’t let a class or a subject get in the way of your goals and aspirations. Get a tutor, because a D equals diploma and these technical degrees open doors you cannot even imagine right now. Even if you think math is not for you, you likely won’t be doing very much math after graduation. So just focus on getting through the class, one at a time. Although STEM courses can be challenging, they open the door to many opportunities in the future.
- How much should you share?
- For Middle Schoolers: focus on the immediate future and encourage taking more STEM courses in High School
- For High Schoolers: share everything that you think is important!
- What you do for your job and why you love it!
Other Important Reminders
- Please log your volunteer hours with your company! Many companies will match your hours and this does a great deal in helping IGNITE grow. See if your company matches and use the forms listed to submit your hours.