Teaching Kids Programming at South Shore MS

We had a fabulous event Thursday, September 27th, for girls from South Shore School. This was a Teaching Kids Programming (TKP) event, and was graciously hosted by Mawiayah Fields, and took place in her classroom. Thank you Mawiayah! Mawiayah is an Engineer and has chosen to teach. We are so fortunate to have her in the classroom. We served 38 girls for this event, in grades 6-8. As an exciting treat, we also had a couple of special guests attend the event: two reporters from USA Today flew in from Washington D.C. to do a story on IGNITE! Big thanks to the reporters Marybeth Marklein and Garrett Hubbard, who took pictures and video, and interviewed a number of people that make IGNITE thrive including students, teachers, volunteers, and more! Check the website and like us on facebook to see the story when it comes out.

A big thank you to Kim Mustafa, a parent of one of the girls in Ms. Fields’ class, who took time out of her busy day yesterday to attend the event and give USA Today a parent’s perspective on why IGNITE is valuable for girls. I wanted to thank you, Kim, for being there and caring so much about the program. We want IGNITE to be sustainable for your daughter and all of the thousands of girls IGNITE reaches each year.

There are many more people to thank for making this event such a success, including Ashley Myer, who is the Leader and Coordinator for Teaching Kids Programming here in the Northwest. IGNITE was chosen by the Founder of TKP to be the Northwest deliverer of the program and Ashley has been certified by TKP to be the Coordinator and Lead in the Program. Ashley coordinates and leads all of the TKP events and trains everyone who wants to be a part of that workshop with her. She started out working as a Software Tester at Microsoft and discovered her love of teaching doing the TKP workshops with IGNITE girls. Now she is the Computer Science Teacher at Roosevelt HS. We are so fortunate to have her in the classroom.

Most industry professionals might not realize that you can become a teacher in Career and Technical Education directly from industry. So if you have a secret desire to teach, let Cathi know! Steph Burg has been trained in the TKP method and now co-teaches these workshops with Ashley. A big thank you to Steph for a great job with our first workshop of the school year! If you have an interest in learning how to co-lead TKP workshops, please let Cathi know! Ashley has opened some spots for more women to co-teach along with her!

It’s amazing to watch girls learn coding for the very first time. Please sign up to do these workshops with us. A schedule is set and will be published on the website and in our next newsletter. A big thank you to all of the women industry professionals that were able to join us yesterday. You all did an amazing job sharing your inspirational story with the girls and also mentored them through the workshop! You are all such amazing and special women! Thank you to Reham Abdelshahid, Vazjier Rosario, and Claire O’Donnell, all from Microsoft. Thank you to Martine Stillman from Synapse, Marta Smith from Western Digital, Frankie Weiss from Fed Ex, Sekela Rabb from the Fire Marshall’s Office and in school to become a Network Engineer!, and Shigeko Calos-Nakano and Tugba Haklidir, both members of the IGNITE Board as well as IGNITE alumni! You are all invaluable!

The girls were really excited to learn programming, especially when they were challenged to design pentagons and spirals. Girls were exclaiming “We got it!” as they experimented and came up with a result they were proud of. Volunteers worked with groups of girls to guide and motivated them. It was a great day for all!

Here are the comments from the girls’ evaluation sheets:

  • What I liked best was the turtle thing. I liked it because it was cool and I have never really done anything like that. -Grade 8
  • I liked making the turtle go into spirals and hearing about the worker’s life and how they decided to be engineers. – Grade 6
  • I learned that one woman was the first to work at fed ex and now there is 100’s working there. –Grade 6
  • That only one woman was working in Fed Ex and now there are hundreds. –Grade 6
  • The most interesting thing I heard today was when the lady said what her starting salary was. I wish I could get that. – Grade 8
  • The most interesting thing I learned was how many types of jobs you can choose from in the engineering field. – Grade 8
  • I learned I could make a lot of money doing something fun. And to meet the first woman to be a part of the Fed Ex tech group.
  • I always thought technology was dumb but when I learned more about it, I think it’s really cool and fun to learn about. – Grade 8
  • What was most interesting was how fast the turtle moved and that I could do what they (the teachers) were doing. –Grade 8
  • I liked that the women came from families like me, so that let me know I could do what they’re doing. –Grade 8
  • I liked learning codes and I liked hearing people’s stories. –Grade 7
  • Most interesting was that the women get paid to break things, and get paid to fix things. –Grade 6
  • I liked that most of the guests were engineers. – Grade 6
  • I learned how much fun and money you can have, and use your creativity. –Grade 6
  • The most interested thing was that you can get paid by just using the computer. – Grade 7
  • I liked looking at how much money they made. – Grade 6
  • The most interesting thing I heard today is that you can download small-basic at home and how to have fun with it. -Grade 8
  • I liked how we learned to do spirals and random colors on the small basics. Also. How we were able to do other things like squares. Grade 8
  • The turtle thing was fun cause when you put a number you expect what it’s going to do next. It was a great experience. Grade 7
  • I liked the little green turtle and it was fun to figure out how to move it, and how much money you can get by being an engineer. – Grade 6
  • I liked how we can make up our own numbers to do the line angles with the turtle. – Grade 8
  • I enjoyed changing the speed and degree of the turtle and that people get paid to do this fun work. – Grade 6
  • I liked that your starting salary is $80,000 and you get paid to make codes. Grade 6
  • I like experimenting and figuring out how to make cool things like swirls. –Grade 6
  • I liked that we got to make the turtle move and stuff, and use variables and scripts and stuff, and that the computer would do all the work for you. — Grade 8
  • I like to see the shapes when you would run it, and I also liked to hear how cool it is to do this stuff. – Grade 8
  • What I liked best about today’s event was getting to learn the way you can make things move and happen with the turtle. – Grade 8
  • I liked that they do this program for a job, and that’s all they do. – Grade 8
  • The most interesting thing is that what they do for their job is be on the computer. – Grade 8
  • I liked how a girl made an Ethiopian dress with lights, and also how the girl made clothes that can be plugged in. – Grade 7
  • I liked when we made the turtles move different angles. – Grade 6
  • When we learned all of the new things on the computer it was really interesting. – Grade 6
  • It’s awesome that you get paid to play and text all day. – Grade 6
  • I liked seeing how much money they make and how they really help the community. – Grade 7
  • I really liked playing on the computer in a different way. – Grade 7

Thank you all so much for an inspiring day! It was such a special way to start our IGNITE year! Sign up for panels and events. Just let me know you are interested in being on a panel this year, or want to learn to mentor at TKP.

Thank you all for your continued and unwavering support.

View the South Shore K-8 Chapter Page