Microsoft Field Trip with Ballard and Roosevelt High Schools

We had a magnificent day yesterday with the young women from Ballard and Roosevelt High Schools. They really were so appreciative and grateful for the experience. I have many people to thank for making this day so special and inspiring for the IGNITE girls.

A big thank you to Claire O’Donnell the volunteer who makes this all happen! She sets up all of our events and is there to make sure  everything is perfect for us! Thank you to Brooke Lowry for supporting our trips to Microsoft and making this possible.

A big thank you to our tour leaders at the Home of the Future and the Envisioning Center. The girls walked away in awe of their experience. They loved seeing and trying new technology and it changed their view of what is possible with technology in the future. Our tour leaders Tiffany Dedeaux in the Envisioning Center and Jackie Giuliano really care so much about the girls experience. They do an extraordinary job in how they present the material, engaging the girls imaginations. We are deeply grateful to you both for what you do for our students each time we visit.

A big thank you to our panelists today. Cheryl Platz, Senior User Experience Designer, and Vice President of the IGNITE board, Renee Bergeson, Solutions Manager MSIT, and Nora Michera, Windows Phone. You were all so inspiring! And you all engaged the girls in a thoughtful and uplifting discussion about their future potential and possibilities. Also, you answered all of their questions  carefully and thoughtfully. We are all profoundly grateful to you for you time and dedication to the girls STEM education.

And a very big thank you to the amazing staff of Ballard and Roosevelt HS. Julie Chapman, school counselor at Ballard HS and a role model and mentor to her students each and everyday. Julie has taken on being the IGNITE chapter leader this year at Ballard and we are extremely fortunate to have her in that capacity. She is one of the most outstanding educators I have had the pleasure to meet.

Thank you to Andy Davison, Computer Science Teacher at Roosevelt HS. Andy is new to our CTE staff this year and really cares about having female representation in his classes. Karl Ruff is the IGNITE chapter leader at Roosevelt for at least the last 4 years and wanted Andy to attend this being his first year at Roosevelt. Karl teaches Project Lead the Way, a pre-engineering curriculum at Roosevelt HS and is a strong advocate of girls representation in engineering careers. Also Karl was an engineer at Boeing for 16 years and runs his classes as if it were a company. He inspires his students everyday and they love being in his program. He is one of the best PLTW teachers in the country and we are fortunate to have him with us.

Here are the comments from the girls survey forms, about their day.

  • The acknowledgment that you can be interested in many things at the same time and still be successful and passionate in those areas no matter how eclectic. I had the realization that there are many possibilities in engineering and all of them are available for me. It opens up a lot of doors, and a lot of options that are relevant to me.
  • I enjoyed learning about all of the different possible careers paths. There are so many things I can study in school that will all go towards finding an interesting profession. I liked hearing about how all of the different women we talked with came to be at Microsoft. It made me start thinking about what skills I need/want to learn in order to get into this industry.
  • I liked hearing about how each panelist became interested in technology and ended up at Microsoft. Also the Envisioning Lab is really cool. All of the different paths people took to reach their different careers was very interesting.
  • The tour of the Envisioning Center really opened my eyes to things that I did not even know existed which will be available in the near future. All of the different positions and roles people have at Microsoft was interesting to learn about.
  • I loved the Home of the Future. I loved the projectors and the touch screens that you can program with your calendar.  I liked Nora’s story about being really young in her job. I learned that even if you might not be super good in every subject and you work hard you can still become what you want.
  • My favorite part was the Q and A panel. I liked being able to hear information from people who are actually in the field. The most interesting thing was hearing the stories from the professionals, I liked hearing how people from different paths and ages got to where they are now.
  • I liked the honesty and inspiration that it gave me.
  • The explanation of what engineering is and the ways to get involved if you have a certain interest in technology. Also, how to enter the engineering path and the amount of help you can get when you are inspired and informed about what you want to study.
  • I liked the house of the future, it was awesome. The most interesting today was that there are opportunities for women and that ignite can help me. I liked talking with the Microsoft employees because I liked hearing how they got started and what their careers are like. I liked Nora’s story about being super young in her field. And how all of them get to travel and get great benefits.
  • I really liked hearing all of the women’s stories about how they came to be engineers and in technology. I also liked seeing the green wall. Cause I think this is technology that could be used all over. The most interesting thing I heard today was that business plays a very important role in engineering and technology. That particular aspect really appeals to me.
  • I love the idea that the world will be quite different in such a short time. I loved the wall paper/ projector in the house.
  • I really liked the way the house worked. Specifically the video wall paper and the projection light bulb. I also really enjoyed the way women shared their stories. The most interesting thing I heard today was Cheryl’s story and how all of these women have come to be what they are today.
  • I liked visiting the home of the future and seeing what things might be possible in a few years. I didn’t realize that you can do so many different things with technology.
  • I liked the interactiveness of the day, Touching and playing with the new technology. In the near future, maybe we can understand different languages with contact lenses and glasses.
  • The technology and the speakers both really made me want to persevere to get to be here at Microsoft. I loved the back stories of how these women got to  work at Microsoft.
  • The tour was great. I liked the combination of seeing what the outcome of your work can be and hearing from the women about what they are actually doing. I liked that some of them did not know what to do at first, but they all ended up earning good money and doing things they love with technology and engineering.
  • There were so many interesting things. The tour was amazing. And so were the people on the panel.
  • I liked the diversity of all of the subjects they spoke about. And that they did lots of other things before they worked at Microsoft.
  • I loved all of the nifty gizmos especially the thing about contact lenses that translate languages.
  • I learned that there is an incredible amount to do in the world of technology and engineering. And that Microsoft is an amazing company to work for.
  • I enjoyed the tour and the lunch and learning about the women, and I thought the whole thing was great. I really enjoyed the discussion about the representation of women. It made me think about how teaching effects us and maybe I don’t learn it because the way its taught.
  • I really liked watching the movie about cool technology and hearing peoples stories.
  • I really liked the tour of the house of the future and that everything can be real in 5 to 10 years.
  • I liked the Home of the Future, especially the features in the kitchen.
  • I liked talk to the women because it was very relaxed and the whole thing was awesome. Microsoft is awesome and I was inspired.
  • I loved the tour and seeing the technology being developed for contact lenses, amazing.

Thank you all for making this day possible.

Cathi Rodgveller M.S. Ed.

View the Ballard High School chapter page
View the Roosevelt High School chapter page