October 24, 2019 | Franklin Pierce High School and Washington High School at NVIDIA | by Lily Kim

On Oct. 24, 19 scholars from Franklin Pierce and Washington High Schools attended a field trip to NVIDIA! NVIDIA is a technology company in Redmond that creates specialized processors, software, Artificial Intelligence, and graphics technology. At the office we were warmly welcomed and led to their conference room, where we received visitor badges and were introduced to our NVIDIA hosts.

We started our field trip with an office tour, which gave us the opportunity to see their work spaces and experience their work environment. We were also introduced to Baxter. Baxter is a robot that NVIDIA is in the process of developing that could assist with household chores in the future! After a discussion about what a robot is, how this technology could help us today, and the potential for future inventions, we divided into small groups. We were challenged to create our own robots!

We needed to develop a robot that met a need. We had to identify the necessary power source and materials needed to produce the robot. We also got to decide how much we would sell our product for.

The great staff at NVIDIA joined us as mentors during the challenge. It was so nice working with them and experiencing what it would be like to work on a development team.

After presenting our robot ideas to the group, we enjoyed a delicious lunch. Then a panel of female staff members talked to us about their roles at NVIDIA and why they chose to pursue careers in STEM, and they encouraged us to do the same. Lopa Sarangi, Christi DeCuir, Ann Pottier and Qian Wan all shared their stories and really helped us to better understand the path to careers in technology and why we should consider these fields. I believe most of the students who attended will definitely take their advice!

Thank you to IGNITE for providing us with such a great opportunity, and THANK YOU to the amazing team at NVIDIA: Lopa, Christi, Ann, Qian, Ashley Turk, Rachel Hazelman, Matt Radecki, Mustafa Fanaswala, Jennifer Wu, Michael Kroepfl, Yashraj Narang, Sagar Rawal, John Irwin, Charu Kalani, and Birgit Henke, who welcomed us to your office and made this a fun, informative, and truly inspiring experience!

 

After attending this event:

94%

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

59%

of girls/non-binary students want to ask a teacher about additional STEM activities

88%

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

Here's what the students enjoyed most:

"Seeing what a robot is capable of doing. It made me more interested in the tech field. I enjoyed the people explaining their stories."

- 12th grade

 

"Some women weren't interested in engineering or robotics but tried it anyway and loved it. I think this event was amazing."

- 11th grade

 

"This event inspired me to break stereotypes!"

- 12th grade

"The highlight of this event was when the ladies shared their stories and gave advice, which was truly inspiring."

- 10th grade

 

"I enjoyed the panel, it inspired me to take more STEM classes. It also gave me insight on the types of jobs in STEM."

- 11th grade

 

"I really enjoyed seeing the work environment and hearing the women speak about their stories. Working with other students there on designing a robot."

- 9th grade

"Robot challenge! To design a robot as a team and to be creative with our ideas."

- 12th grade

 

"That someone was an aerospace engineer, which is something I want to do."

- 12th grade

 

"I loved the presenters' stories and advice."

- 12th grade

"Working with one of the speakers, listening to their stories."

- 11th grade

 

"I love the building. Everything looked nice and everyone there was very nice."

- 9th grade

 

"Meeting BAXTER was very interesting, and getting to design our own robots."

- 9th grade

 

"The panel, the tour, robotics talk, the videos!"

- 10th grade

 

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