South Shore K-8 BYTE at Microsoft

May 18, 2014

HI All,

We had a fabulous event yesterday with 28 boys from South Shore K-8 middle school.

Since some schools choose to do a BYTE (Boys YES Technology Education)

program for their young men, we offer similar programs to boys as well as girls.

The boys got to learn how to program using the amazing TKP program, Teaching Kids Programing. and they had such a great time. We have the mentors there so if a student needs help they just have to raise their hands and someone will be there to support them to success. By the time the students left they were making designs of their own creation and on their way to loving coding.

Then Microsoft offers a wonderful lunch, and the kids always enjoy it.

We then gather in a circle where the mentors share what they do at Microsoft and how they got interested in these career fields. It’s such a great day by this time, and the kids are just so happy, but then we top it off with time in the Visitors center where the kids get to play the latest and greatest video games and explore all of the new Microsoft technology.  They never want to leave and it’s just the greatest day for everyone!

There are so many terrific people to thank for making this day so very special for the students.

First, thank you to Denise Paley for organizing the volunteers from the MACH program, which is Microsoft’s college hire program where each employee gets to choose 4 rotations every six months and then decide where in the company they want to work! Each employee is a new Microsoft hire and can relate well to those still in school. Denise made a special effort to find some amazing young men as well, so the boys can also have mentors just like the girls do. Thank you Denise for your efforts in this very special day.

Also, thank you to our Microsoft volunteer coordinator Aparna Vishwanathan, who worked with Denise to secure the volunteers. Aparna oversees all events at Microsoft and we cannot thank her enough for her work.

Thank you to the incredible TKP teachers, Ashley Myer and Steph Burg who have been co-teaching TKP with IGNITE for several years. They make such a great team and its always so much fun. Thank you both for your continued time and commitment.

Thank you to The Microsoft mentors who were so fabulous with the kids. Thank you to Sisira Narayana, Program Manager, Ben Blunt, Developer, Tyler Angell, UX Designer, Leah Kim, SM, Emmanuel Ferren, Developer, Hanhan Wu, Developer.

Thank you all so much and we hope to see you again in IGNITE!

A big thank you to an incredible and talented teacher, Mawiayah Fields, PLTW, Project Lead the Way teacher at South Shore K-8. Mawiayah is such an exceptional teacher and also an engineer as well. We are so fortunate to have her in education.

She inspires her students each and everyday. Thank you Mawiayah for all you do.

Here are the comments from the survey sheets the boys filled out.

  • I learned that I can be/do anything that I want.
  • I liked the way you taught us , for example “ the lazy way to do it”. It was also easy to learn it. The most interesting thing I heard today was “ the lazy way” because I never heard a teacher say that.
  • How we learned art on the computer.  I also learned that there are classes for this stuff in school.  I would like to work here someday.
  • The best thing about today is that we learned more about coding and what coders actually do. The most interesting is that there is a lot of jobs to pursue a career for computer engineering.
  • I loved coding and loved hearing more about making video games.
  • What I liked best was coding on the computer. Making the tortoise do different things was really cool and fun. It was a very new and different experience that I enjoyed doing. The most interesting thing I heard today was there is a whole building of servers, and I do wish we could see that.
  • The best was hearing the stories of how they got here and what they do. Everything about this was interesting.
  • I loved to learn how to code, it was awesome. I also learned a lot about engineering careers and liked to hear about how much they make.
  • What I liked best about today’s event is the tortoise command! It was also interesting that you can drink pop any time you want it.
  • I loved learning to code. And I liked learning about careers at Microsoft especially how much money they make.
  • The best part was learning new things. I really am excited about learning more and about making games.
  • I loved learning how to design things on the computer. Now I want to learn how to make games.
  • I learned about what testing means in these careers. I want to learn more about that. I think I would be interested in that career.
  • The part that I considered was the best event is the part we learned all about coding and programming. Before I did not know how to do any of that. The  most interesting thing that I have heard today was the fact that Microsoft Programmers are “lazy”  I mean, I used to think that to be a computer engineer that it would take a lot of work, but I did not realize that there are so many keyboard shortcuts.
  • Where we were at the circle and I got to hear what the people had to say about their life and what they do. There were a lot  of interesting things, too many to pick one.
  • There were so many things today that I liked best, the programming and everything else.  I also learned that computer programmers have a high salary.
  • What I liked best about today is making codes, and making many different shapes and objects with the program.  I liked hearing about gaming and stuff like that.
  • I liked programming the turtle to do stuff and make our own designs with it. Anybody can become a programmer and you can make your own app/game!
  • I liked the coding, and the people and the soda!
  • I thought it was interesting that some people did not have a background in computers but were able to become Microsoft workers.
  • I liked the coding and making cool shapes on the program we were using. The most interesting thing I heard today was that some people did not start with technology but now work in coding and engineering.
  • You can make your own apps by coding.
  • I’ve had time to code and now I can say I did programming and hope I can do it more. I learned how much people are needed in the technology field.
  • The best about today’s event was when we did the quiz because it was so easy. I most interesting thing I heard today was that lots of people are needed in this field.
  • I liked asking questions in this event because I learned a lot about what happens in Microsoft. There is actually a job creating and testing video games at Microsoft.
  • What I liked about today’s event was coding and how to test it. The most interesting thing that I heard was about all of the jobs they have.
  • What I liked the most about today’s event is the coding, it was challenging but fun.
  • What I heard that was interesting is that there are many things that coding can do easily.

Thank you all for making this incredible day possible!


View the South Shore K-8 Chapter Page