On November 15, 2018, Microsoft welcomed girls from Evergreen High School, Chief Sealth International High School, and Denny International Middle School. These girls had expressed interest in a future career in a STEM field and were very excited to learn about coding and how that would support them in their pursuit of a career. When they walked in the door, the girls were greeted by a team of all women and paired up with their own Microsoft Surface tablet that they would be using to code with.

 

 

The morning began with an interactive coding workshop led by Microsoft staff. The girls were challenged to make their little turtle move and perform various commands. Microsoft staff circulated giving support with coding but also treats to “energize” them through their morning. At first girls were shown how to do several commands, but as they started to get the hang of things many girls decided to try experimenting with coding. As some of the girls realized that by changing a few parts of the code they could change the outcome of what their turtles did, excitement spread through the tables and everyone started exploring what they could do with their own code.

 

 

 

When the morning coding workshop wrapped up, the girls were treated to a pizza lunch! Microsoft staff spread out and ate lunch among the girls so that the girls could connect with one staff member. This served as the perfect transition into the afternoon panel.

During the panel, a diverse assemblage of women from Microsoft shared their journeys that brought them to working at Microsoft. Many women shared stories that resonated with our students and provided proof that a career in STEM is possible regardless of where they begin their journeys.

 

Thank You to Microsoft and all of the volunteers who made this event possible!

 

After attending this event:

92%

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

59%

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

87%

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

Here’s what the students had to say:

 

The hands-on coding was awesome, and the panel was super friendly.”

–  10th grade

 

I loved that they gave us a chance to experiment with coding and learn some basics. It inspired me to attempt to change the world with code, as coding is kinda easy.”

–  8th grade

 

“The panel was my favorite part, it showed me the opportunities out there and that I can be/do anything.”

–  11th grade

 

I really liked coding and experimenting with it even though it was a bit challenging at the beginning.”

–  8th grade

 

“Everything, especially the panel. It inspired me to never give up.”

–  11th grade

 

I enjoyed the background about the women on the panel because their stories inspired me and gave me more to connect with them on.”

–  8th grade

 

“Each speaker had inspirational stories, messages and advice for us all, and it helped me believe that anyone can join the STEM field.”

–  11th grade

 

I really enjoyed the panel part of today, all the women’s’ stories inspired me to pursue the career I want.

–  8th grade

 

Getting to learn the different ways of coding was fun. It inspired me to learn more about computers.

–  8th grade

 

“I liked hearing all of the different stories on the panel and it taught me that no matter what situation you’re in you can always turn your life around and succeed.”

–  11th grade

 

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