December 5th, 2019 | Todd Beamer High School at Amazon | by Nicole Collopy

On Dec. 5, 14 young scholars from Todd Beamer High School in Federal Way took a field trip to Amazon headquarters in downtown Seattle! Upon arrival, we were welcomed by Rachel Barnum, a Program Manager at Amazon Games, and checked in with the front desk. The students we immediately taken with the design and amenities that Amazon had!

We then got to take a personalized tour of the Spheres, a private working space that is reserved for Amazon employees, which is filled with lush greenery from around the world.

There were many docents throughout the spheres that were able to answer any questions about the environment. We learned a ton about different types of vegetation and the relationships between the plants that they are growing and felt very lucky to get to see this amazing space!

After the tour, we enjoyed lunch and a panel discussion with Rachel Barnum, Stephanie LaBoo, a Senior Safety Engineer, and Rosemary Le, who is a Product Manager and also an IGNITE alum! The panelists were amazingly insightful and encouraging to the students. They discussed the different paths that they took before ending up at Amazon, which was really inspiring to the students because it made getting a job like this more tangible.

The panelists did not all necessarily start out in Computer Science but found their field in various ways. The students were especially interested in the Diversity team at Amazon and its work to decrease the “tech bro” culture that tends to be in big tech companies.

The trip was wonderful, and the students felt really seen and understood by all the panelists and volunteers. I can’t thank everyone enough for all the work they do to create events and opportunities like this for our students! Thank you especially to Rachel, Stephanie, and Rosemary for sharing your time and experiences and inspiring the girls!

 

After attending this event:

71%

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

50%

of girls/non-binary students want to investigate taking a STEM related course next semester

64%

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 inspired me to try something new and get out of my comfort zone. Learning about nature and 3 lovely ladies inspired me. TAKE A RISK! Everything went really well and I would love to go to events often."

- 11th grade

 

"I liked visiting the Spheres and seeing how people worked there, and learning about different job opportunities within Amazon."

- 12th grade

"I enjoyed exploring and looking at the building, and it inspired me that girls can do as much with technology as guys."

- 9th grade

 

"Talking with Amazon employees. It inspired me how they got to work and how they're working right now."

- 10th grade

"I enjoyed the interest in STEM, how the guides were so helpful, the nice food and nice buildings. Everything about this event was so helpful!"

- 10th grade

 

"Inclusive language and calling out the gaps in STEM."

- 11th grade

"Learning about diversity and women getting into tech!"

- 11th grade

 

"How there are different types of techs that make their own devices like Alexa."

- 10th grade

"When they talked about their jobs and what they do. It was all interesting and fun!"

- 9th grade

 

"The Spheres building. Everything was GREAT!"

- 12th grade

 

 

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