Franklin High School TKP at Microsoft

December 22, 2014

Hi All,


We had a fabulous trip yesterday for 35 girls from Franklin HS in Seattle.

They participated in a Teaching Kids Programming Workshop at Microsoft.

The girls had never had programming experience, or even understand what it’s about. They loved learning how to code, and then were able to create a design from their very own program! Microsoft provided a beautiful lunch and women mentored girls at the workshop, and then shared their stories during the lunch. Girls asked great questions too! Then we bring the girls to the Microsoft Visitors center where they get to play the latest games, see the latest and greatest technology, and just love the whole entire day!


It’s such an amazing day and we have so many to thank.


First, thank you to Aparna Vishwanathan.

Aparna sets up these events for us, making sure we have volunteers, a computer lab, and delicious lunch as well!

We cannot thank her enough for all of the hard work and dedication to making these events perfect. They are indeed perfect each and every time.


Thank you to the Teaching Kids Programming teacher Ashley Myers. Ashley is a master teacher and a woman in technology herself. She fell in love with teachering doing these workshops! And now is the Computer Science Teacher at Roosevelt HS in Seattle. She still takes time out to come to Microsoft and teach these TKP workshops for IGNITE.

We appreciate Ashley so much and all she does for the girls.


Thank you to all of the women who attended the TKP workshop. Each time a girl’s hand went up, a woman would rush to her side to help. Then the women shared their stories with the girls with hopes that she would inspire the girls to want to learn more, to pursue careers in STEM. Thank you to Vazjier Rosario, Sr. Service Engineer, Louise Bowman, Patent Attorney, Sunitha Shivangayundappa, Program Manager, Saridarya Ramakrisunan, EPM, Kylie Hurd, Program Manager, Judith Maurer, Principal Technical Manager, Megan Olsen, Partner Ops IEM, Traci Harrell, Global Program Manager, Malini Jagannadhita, Program Manger.  Thank you Ladies, for all you do to support the girls!

Just by this long list, you can see how much women care about educating girls in technology. WE cannot thank you enough!


Thank you to Julie O’Brien, IGNITE teacher and Math Teacher, Franklin HS.

Julie runs an exceptional IGNITE chapter. She does an event every month, constantly planning the next exciting experience for the girls. We are so fortunate to have her in this role. She is an IGNITE Star Teacher!


Here are the comments from the girls survey forms.

It’s worth taking a few minutes and reading all of the comments.

They are so appreciative and have been affected sincerely by this event. And,

they always say it best.


I liked listening to the women talk about how they got to Microsoft. It helped me because I wanted to know how people could get such amazing jobs. The most interesting thing I heard today was “ I had my first child at 16… Now my kids could buy a new pair of shoes everyday if they wanted one!” Grade 9


Learning that it is a male dominated industry and women should be able to do what men do.  I learned that even if you struggle or make mistakes, it can’t hold you back, it shouldn’t hold anyone back. Grade 10


I really liked learning about coding and programming the computer. The most interesting thing I heard was that majoring in computer engineering is a good choice because there is a lot of open space for jobs. And companies will fight for you. Grade 9


The best part was PROGRAMMING!  I learned how to program for the first time ever!!! Grade 9


I learned that programmers are very lazy, which fit my personality the best 🙂


I was thinking about going into the medical field but it gave me hope that I can get into this field. It was amazing that the volunteers have kids and they manage to work here with kids. Grade 9


I liked learning about programs and how to make codes. I learned about getting college credit for taking tech classes in high school. Thank you Volunteers! Grade 10


I liked the computer programming. I also liked hearing the women talk. Grade 10


I really enjoyed learning computer programming. Thank you for teaching us! I learned that there are many different ways to end up at Microsoft and going into tech. Grade 10


I really liked the circle, talking to the Microsoft women. I learned about how women get to work at Microsoft. I would relate to them and it made me consider about working in technology.  Grade 9


The most interesting thing I‘ve learned today is that you don’t really have to be involved or know about technology, you can always find out and then go into a field you want to. There is always a way. Grade 9


I liked learning about the different paths people went to come to Microsoft. I loved connecting to the women who talked to us. I thought it was so interesting that women had a rough start, like getting pregnant, but still are successful! Grade 9


I really liked the coding, food and hearing the women’s stories. It was all great! Grade 9


I liked hearing all of the speaker’s stories. It was very inspiring.  I thought it was interesting that not all of the women were computer programmers, that there are other kinds of jobs at Microsoft. Grade 9


I liked how we were able to do hands on activities. So we were not bored. I heard that you could become a Program Manager without knowing how to program! Grade 9


It was fun doing the coding. I learned about so many different kinds of jobs at Microsoft and in technology in general. Grade 9


When we did the programming, it was SUPER AWESOME! Also, that even if life takes you on the wrong path, there is always a solution. Grade 9


Thank you to Sunitta and Malini! You helped me so much today!!!!!!!!!!


I liked the hands on workshops where we did programming. We worked with a partner and got a feel for the experience. The most interesting thing I heard today was you could be questioning what you want to be but you have to be open and have passion. You can get to a destination in different ways. Grade 10


P.S. Thank you! You’re very inspiring and loving people who want to help. You are all great people.


I felt the best when I actually finished all of the codes and saw my product. Learning all of the codes. Grade 10


I liked how I got to control the turtle and got to make it move. The most interesting thing I heard was that life will take you through twists and turns but as long as your determined you’ll make it.  I loved Megan’s story because I saw that even though she didn’t go on the path she thought she would she worked her way up from the bottom, so big props for Megan. Grade 11


I really liked how we got to do a hands on activity. I also liked listening to some of the stories of how women at Microsoft came to be interested in technology. The most interesting thing that I’ve heard today is everyone’s college life and how they found the passion to work at Microsoft. I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up right now, but I learned a lot today about these careers. Thank you so much! Grade 9


I liked learning coding and I never knew how to do it and didn’t know it was that simple. I learned that technology, computer science, can get jobs right out of college. Grade 9


I liked that we got to try something. I learned that there is a program online where you can learn how to do these things for free. Grade 9


I loved hearing the volunteer’s stories. I learned a lot from it. I learned that technology needs more women. I want to thank all of the women for coming and telling us their stories! I have learned a lot from each woman 🙂


I learned that you can overcome any situation. I loved learning new things on the computer. Grade 11


I liked to hear how each woman got to Microsoft. It was interesting and fun. I had fun learning on the computer too. I learned that you can do it, or you can do whatever you want. Grade 11


I liked how we were able to try things out on our own. It was frustrating at times but still worth it. I also liked hearing the stories. To be honest, I just found it amazing how all of you managed to make it this far. Now I know anything is possible. Thank you for that. Grade 10


It always gets me after I read the girls comments. This is why IGNITE is so powerful.

Now we need to make sure every girl has access to this experience!

That is the mission and thank you all for being such an important part of that!


View the Franklin High School Chapter Page