Valve Field Trip with Sealth High School


We had an amazing day at Valve with the IGNITE girls from Chief Sealth International HS. It was an exceptional experience from beginning to end. Valve provided a shuttle bus to pick up our students from school and bring them back!

First, we had a through tour of the entire company space. Leslie Redd, our tour guide and tour designer, did such an exemplary job of creating this day for our young women. The girls got to see how video game designers work, what their space looks like, how they interact and even how they dress, their schedules, and the whole picture of their employee experience.

Then the girls were invited to try Portal 2 Puzzle Maker, and the girls really loved the chance to try the game and see all of the components to the game. Some of the girls were very familiar with the games from Valve, and had requested this tour because of their love of this company. Their expectations were met and were exceeded beyond anything they had imagined. Now they want to work at Valve! Then 3 of the women who work at Valve did a comprehensive presentation of their lives, jobs and an in-depth idea of what they do each day. Also, they had focused on how to succeed on this career path! The Presentations were outstanding. The girls learned so much about the process of video game design and also how exciting this work can be.

IGNITE is extremely grateful to Leslie Redd for inviting us, and the other employees, for making this day so special. Thank you to the women presenters, who also provided inspiring visual presentations as well. Thank you to Karen Prell, Jen Carlson, and Bronwen Grimes. You really had the girls attention, and were so inspired and excited about your talk with them. You all did such a remarkable job!

Also thank you to the other women who came to support the girls during the day, Christen and Jennis who joined us for our lunch discussion. And thank you for providing a delicious lunch too! It was such a fabulous day.

I want to thank their wonderful teacher, DeAira Handugan for her commitment to making sure girls get these experiences. She is such a great IGNITE leader at Sealth HS and we are all very fortunate to have her. DeAira is devoted teacher and a great role model each and everyday!

Here are the comments from the girls survey forms.

  • I liked being able to create a level of Portal and hearing about possible careers in IT. Also, how things are animated for a video game. I never thought about all of the work needed to just make one thing move in a game. It was interesting to see the process.
  • I really enjoyed watching the presentations. They were very informative. Also, they opened my eyes to things I hadn’t heard of or hadn’t thought about before. There is a huge aesthetic component to designing games. So people will subconsciously know how to play. I learned a lot!
  • I liked the presenters and I learned a lot from them. I also liked taking the tours because the environment that they work in is really cool and relaxing. I could tell there is a lot of communication. The most interesting thing I heard is the way they set up their work environment and their communication.
  • I really liked how different people came in and explained what each group does and how long it takes to do what you want. The most interesting thing was how the characters work and how they were created.
  • The best thing today was the games and the building Portal 2, because it was fun and I learned a lot. I want to learn more. I learned more about how to get this career. You are in school a short time to find a great job in this career field.
  • I liked the computer portal game. It was a challenging, yet fun program. The most interesting thing was the presentations of career choices and the women’s work experience.
  • I thought the best thing was the women’s stories. One women went from being a puppeteer to an animator, and that was very interesting.
  • It was a new experience from Microsoft. I learned about gaming and coding and new ways to be involved in this field.
  • I loved EVERYTHING! The presentations, the tours, EVERYTHING! It was interesting to learn how art links into game development.
  • I really loved the building tour. And I learned a lot about business skills, profit and company benefits.
  • The connection of art to programming as well as design was my favorite part.
  • The best parts were the power points, and all of the information I learned that I didn’t know. And experiencing the building tour. The most interesting thing that women are wanted in this field, and that technology constantly is changing.
  • The best part were the speeches and learning about technology.

Thank you all for making this day so wonderful for these girls!

Cathi Rodgveller M.S. Ed.

View the Chief Sealth High School Chapter Page