On Thursday, January 17th, female and non-binary students from Nova HS, Hazen HS, and Franklin Pierce HS attended the Microsoft Coding workshop.

 

 

As soon as we arrived it was time to learn to code! A few students had never coded before, so they were eager yet apprehensive to start. The Microsoft team was able to guide the students and make them feel at ease. The girls were coding using Small Basic to make a turtle draw several different designs on the screen. They were surprised at how simple coding code be. One girl noted, “I enjoy learning about coding. I have never done it before and I thought it was really cool.”

 

 

At the end of the event, several students wanted even more time to code. The spark had been lit for our students to consider tech in their post-secondary plans and/or future careers.

After Lunch was a panel comprised of women from many different Microsoft projects including xBox, Azure, and front and back end development. The panelists shared their personal stories, including their journey to make it to their current positions at Microsoft. The panel was so inspiring that one girl remarked, “I enjoyed that the people from the panels were diverse and that they all had backgrounds that didn’t necessarily lead directly to a specific career.”

 

 

The Panel was an integral part of the experience because students had the opportunity to see professional women who shared their personal challenges and their successes. They advised our students that is not an easy road but an achievable road with hard work. Below are some of the key points from the speakers:

  • It’s okay to change your major, or be unsure of what field you want to go into.
  • You should focus on what you enjoy doing and pursue your own path.
  • Find a career that utilizes your strengths– for example, if you’re good with people, make those interactions part of your position.

 

 

At the end of the day students got a swag bag and were able to have some fun in the Microsoft staff lounge. Many of the girls would highly recommend this event to this peers and it made them more interested in pursuing a STEM degree.

Thank you to all of the Microsoft volunteers for opening a door of career options for our students who had never considered STEM, especially tech for their future.

 

 

After attending this event:

89%

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

70%

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

Here’s what the students had to say:

“I really liked the Panel. Hearing people’s personal experiences is really interesting and helps me realize that it’s possible to be in this industry and not be a prodigy.”

– 12th grade

 

A highlight that I enjoyed from today’s event was learning about coding. I had never done it before, and I thought it was really cool.  Also learning about different careers in Microsoft made me more interested to get into computer science.”

– 11th grade

 

I really enjoyed coding in a program I’ve never tried before. The Panel made me more interested in working in tech and STEM in general, and made me want to more actively pursue options in it.”

– 11th grade

 

“I enjoyed that the people from the panel were diverse and that they all had backgrounds that didn’t necessarily lead directly to a specific career.”

– 11th grade

 

“I liked hearing about everyone’s backgrounds. Not all of the women at Microsoft were even interested in computer science and technology until later on. This made me feel better because I learned that Microsoft doesn’t necessarily just accept people just because they know everything, but they also look at what different people can bring to their company and [what can] help them strengthen their skills.”

– 10th grade

 

I loved coding the flowers and turtle! I learned a lot.”

– 12th grade

 

“A highlight was the Tetris game and something that inspired me were all the hardworking females in the field.”

– 9th grade

 

“I enjoyed working with coding again. I also was inspired by the women empowerment and the insight the Panel gave us on their struggles and how they got to where they are today.”

– 10th grade

 

I loved listening to the employees’ stories. They all got here by following their passion and never giving up.

– 11th grade

 

I liked coding the flower designs and changing certain properties of the flowers.”

– 9th grade

 

Thank you, Microsoft!

Students express their thanks to the volunteers at Microsoft:

“Thank you for giving us an opportunity for us STEM-interested girls at Washington High School. I had a blast! I’m going to further pursue STEM thanks to you guys!”

“Thanks for helping with our group. Your stories inspired me to continue learning about coding and computer science.”

“Thank you so much for helping us, getting through the coding and answering all of our questions. You have given me a lot of information that I can use in choosing my future career.”

“Thank you for giving my an opportunity to go to my dream job! It was nice to have a school like us go to Redmond. Hopefully I can become pros like you all someday.”

“Thank you for inspiring girls like me to do the things they love.”

“Thank you for creating a great event that provides opportunities for girls! I know it gives me more confidence to go into a related field.”

“Thank you for the fun experience in coding and giving us the opportunity to be able to have our field trip there! Thanks for the pizza and sharing your personal stories with us as well.”

“Thank you Microsoft for allowing me this chance to attend this IGNITE event. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it has further inspired me to look into and pursue a career in the STEM field.”

 

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Microsoft Coding Workshop with Franklin Pierce HS, Nova HS, and Hazen HS
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