Teaching Kids Programming with Chief Sealth High School

On May 9, 2013, IGNITE hosted 13 girls from Chief Sealth High School at Microsoft, to participate in a Teaching Kids Programming (TKP) event. Ashley Myers, Leader and Coordinator for Teaching Kids Programming here in the Northwest, was our leader for the day. Ashley taught the girls how to use the Small Basic programming language to create and run a software program with a tortoise.

Ashley was a Software Tester at Microsoft and chose to leave her testing career to become a teacher. She is now the Web Design and Computer Science Teacher at Roosevelt High School. Ashley is energetic and always willing to help. Ashley provided great leadership and instruction throughout the day! Thanks Ashley!

We would also like to recognize the teachers and staff at Chief Sealth for their continued support of the IGNITE program, the coordination and planning they put into every event with the girls, and their support throughout the day.  Thank you for all your work with IGNITE and for your students!

We had a great range of experience levels in the room. Some girls have been in IGNITE for many years, and have developed more advanced programming abilities. Others were at their very first IGNITE event and learning about coding on the spot! The Teaching Kids Programming lesson was tailored to match everyone’s level, and the girls had a great time experimenting with Small Basic.

There was a great question and answer session over lunch, where girls from Chief Sealth asked Microsoft volunteers how they were able to get the jobs they have, what high school and college classes would be best to take and many more. Many of the girls were surprised by the high demand for women in technology and the great salaries they could make right out of high school.

There was a great deal of interest around the many internship and apprenticeship opportunities popping up for girls interested in technology. This summer, Microsoft is offering 8-10 week long internships for girls who want to know more about the ins and outs of working for Microsoft. There is also a 3 day Boot Camp for girls to learn more about tech life and programming. Microsoft also has apprenticeships available where girls will not only learn about working in technology, but will also get a crash course in resume writing, and interview skills.

An enormous thank you goes out to the professionals who took time out of their busy days to help the girls through the workshop, and answer many good questions about their careers and lives! We are perpetually indebted to you, and admire your desire and ability to empower young women to be happy and successful! Thank you to Eileen Chou – Solutions Manager, Judy Edelstein – Senior Program Manager, Maria Dawn Williams de Coronado – Senior Delivery Manager, Sumara Shetty – Senior Delivery Manager, and Malini Jagannadhan – Program Manager. We love working with all of you, and the girls truly appreciated your contributions and support throughout the day. Thank you!

At the end of the afternoon we closed the day at the Microsoft Visitor center where the girls were able to test out the latest and greatest products released from Microsoft! What a fun and exciting day! Thank you Chief Sealth and everyone involved!

Here are the comments from the girls’ evaluation sheets:

  • The part I liked the best was when we learned about programming
  • I found it most interesting about how the people got to work at Microsoft
  • I liked how we made the turtle go and make a lot of figures with a lot of colors
  • You can work at Microsoft event if even if you don’t take a field that doesn’t belong
  • I’ve done programming before so I liked it when we did it on our own
  • The computers were the most interesting thing for me
  • The circle group and talks were the best
  • What I really like about today’s event was how people talked about their stories, how they got to where they are now and about all of the advantages that working in a technical field has held.
  • The most interesting thing I heard was the opportunities Microsoft offers
  • The informational Q&A with the panel was the best
  • I liked hearing about the Microsoft apprentice job
  • I liked when we had the circle at lunch and everyone talked
  • I liked the tortoise. It was really fun!
  • I like the stuff we did on the IGNITE program. And also getting advice and knowing more about programming from the women at Microsoft.
  • You son’t have to have specific experience to go out and work. I enjoyed learning about all the different jobs are out there and what you can learn.
  • The MAP internship at Microsoft was the most interesting thing I learned about.
  • I liked to hear about Xbox Live jobs and about hot to do coding.

Thank you all for a great event, and for your dedication to IGNITE!

View the Chief Sealth High School Chapter Page

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