South Shore K-8 at Microsoft’s TKP

March 10th, 2016

 HI All,

We had a fabulous trip to Microsoft yesterday, on March 10, 2016. IGNITE girls from South Shore K-8, 36 sixth and seventh graders, traveled to Microsoft for a Teaching Kids Programming(TKP) event.IMG_2709

Everyone was excited for the girls to learn programming and meet amazing Microsoft women. For most of the girls, this was their very first experience with coding. Ashley Myers is our TKP teacher and always does such an incredible job with the girls.


Ashley Myers is a Computer Science teacher in Seattle Schools, formally a high tech woman who worked at Microsoft, and has led these workshops for many years as a volunteer. She has given literally hundreds of girls an opportunity to try coding for the very first time. This is such an amazing gift Ashley has contributed to IGNITE girls over many years.


South Shore K-8 girls had a great time learning to write code using Small Basic. Led by Ashley they learned some of the basic programming concepts, such as getters, setters and loops. They put their new knowledge to use when they were challenged to design stars and spirals on their own, which for many girls was the most challenging aspect of the day, and the most rewarding when they figured it out. One thing that is always fun to see is the way volunteers interact with students as they help out around the room. They always ask the right questions to help students think like programmers without giving away the answers. It is fun to watch and a great way of building up the girl’s skills!


Thank you to the Microsoft/IGNITE Volunteer Coodinator’s who make sure all of the details for the day are taken care of. We could not make this all happen with the tireless work of Aparna Vishwanathan and Christine Alexander who has put in countless hours of work for the 9 trips we do each year to Microsoft

Thank you to all of the amazing and talented Microsoft women who volunteered at this event. We are so thankful as always to the women from Microsoft who not only spent their morning helping the girls learn Small Basic, but also spoke with them about their experiences as women in high tech careers. Volunteers gave girls the inside scoop on working at Microsoft, including some pointers on landing a job there, as well as the diversity of jobs that suitable to a variety of skills and personalities. Volunteers, thank you for your guidance during the workshop, and for giving girls a glimpse into what is possible for their futures! We are blown away by your desire to help girls pursue meaningful, interesting careers!


Thank you to Ani Babaian, Software Engineer, Malini Jacianadhan, Program Manager, Kylie Hurd, Software Engineer, Jenny Lawrence, Software Engineer, Casey Schaertl, Software Engineer, Cathy Moya, Program Manager, Juan Tian Software Engineer, and Sweety Chauhan, Program Manager.

You were all so wonderful with the girls.  We cannot thank you enough for being IGNITE volunteers and caring enough to share your stories. Each time the impact you have changes the way the girls think about themselves and these career choices. Thank you again for an exceptionally powerful event.


Here are some of the comments from the girls.

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They always say it best.

I enjoyed making different shapes and things on the computer. It inspired me to learn more about coding and learning about what technology can do. Also, I enjoyed the stories from the women, and they inspired me to keep trying and keep reaching for my dreams. Grade 6


The event inspired me. I learned how to code and loved listening the women. Grade 6


This event inspired me to go into technology for a career. Grade 6


My highlight was everything. Grade 7


I liked the coding we did today. I would see myself working here in the future. This event inspired me because I want to design. Grade 6


The part that inspired me was that they gave us advice to stick with us. Grade 6


I think everyone was great. I enjoyed when the engineer answered our questions and told us about the coding. I got to connect with women engineers and I also like math and art! Grade 7


I enjoyed the coding and it inspired me to become an engineer. I also enjoyed how the women were honest with us. Grade 7

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I loved learning how to code, I never knew what it was and now I know its really an exciting job. Grade 6


I loved asking the women questions, and I learned so much. Grade 6


I liked learning coding and it made me want to work at Microsoft in the future. Grade 7


When the girls talked about there lives it made me open my eyes and think more about my life. Grade 6


I loved learning about coding. I want to go to college and study this. Grade 6


I thought this event was perfect. All of the girls said this in one way or another. Grade 6


I enjoyed when they talked about not to be afraid. Grade 7


Coding inspired me. Grade 7


I learned how to code and it was amazing. Grade 6


I liked the quiz because it was easy and it showed me what I learned. Grade 7


I never coded before and I would say it was an awesome first experience. Grade 7


I never knew about coding and now I do. I am so glad I learned how to code. Grade 7


Thank you all for making this day happen. It was truly such an amazing day for the girls. It could not happen without all of you caring the way you do.

Thank you