At South San Francisco High School on February 27, 2019, we were blessed with the presence of Yun Lien, Senior Software Engineer from Pixar, and five fabulous students from 42 Silicon Valley (Mi Hwangbo, Kristine Sonu, Karynne Black, Ariella Grodzinsky, and Mina Kim).  We had 29 girls who attended the event.

The girls started the day at coding on Chromebooks.  Ariella led the girls in different stages to code Pong.  They really enjoyed being able to play around and modify the code to see the changes dynamically.  The 45 minutes went by too quickly and many wanted to continue coding.

  

We then moved to get lunch and return to the tables to hear the panelists.  Yun shared her path to her current career at Pixar, which inspired many of the girls with her tenacity to keep going despite setbacks to her goals and also the absolute coolness of working at Pixar.  Karynne shared about her current enrollment in 42 despite her great interest in art. Ariella shared about her love and passion of computer science and exciting opportunities to visit companies because of CS. Many girls shared in their survey how they love hearing the stories of the panelists’ stories and journey.

  

I’m so grateful for the generosity of our volunteers who gave so freely of their time and the sharing of their experiences to inspire our students.  42 Silicon Valley also generously brought bags, water bottles, and stickers for our girls.

From the surveys, 100% of the girls were inspired to action!

 

After attending this event:

79%

of girls/non-binary students are more interested in STEM

66%

of girls/non-binary students want to continue attending IGNITE events

86%

of girls/non-binary students want to study harder to attend college and further their education

Here’s what the students enjoyed most:

“This event was fun and made me more interested in Computer Science, especially the panel telling about their experiences.”

 

“I enjoyed the panel with Pixar. It’s interesting to hear about the behind the scenes of making animations.”

 

“The highlights I enjoyed from today were the pong exercise and getting to hear the panelists’ journey to getting into coding. I think you should continue having this event because for people like me who are 50/50 about taking a STEM career, it’s made me more convince to try it out.”

 

“I enjoyed changing the color of the background and circle in the drawing program. It made coding seem more fun even if it is difficult. This event inspired me to possibly major in a STEM field. Keep doing it to encourage more girls. It’s fun.”

 

“I liked changing the functions and looks of objects on the screen. It inspired me because it got me interested in how coding works.”

 

“I liked how the mentors challenged us to experiment with the code. It’s inspired me to continue on my STEM path.”

 

This event inspired me to take coding more seriously.”

 

“I liked the description of Pixar and the kind of work they do, as well as the relatively easy explanation of coding the game. It has inspired me to look into jobs and colleges that offer these types of programs.”

 

-Jadie Sun, IGNITE Advisor, Computer Science Teacher at South San Francisco High School

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