Evergreen HS at Microsoft Coding Workshop

 

College Success Foundation scholars from Evergreen were able to join several other schools on Tuesday, January 16th at Microsoft for a Coding Workshop and Game Development Panel. Our 35 girls were comprised of 17 of our 9th graders, 7 of our 10th graders, and 11 of our 11th graders.

 

The students spent three jammed packed hours with these phenomenal women gaming developers. The event kicked off with an opportunity for the girls to dive right into a coding activity to code the animation of a turtle. Each table of students had professional volunteers supporting them through the turtle tutorial. We were quite impressed with the coding work of some experienced high school coders as well as students who quickly picked it up that day.

 

During lunch, students sat with Microsoft staff for more intimate question and answer sessions. It was a beautiful exchange of the girls’ experiences as students and professionals’ stories about their journeys to their technology careers. When we transitioned into the panel portion of the event, the girls were able to hear from professional gaming developers. Students shared back that they appreciated being able to hear of the remarkable coding work that the panelists were a part of.

 

After this event:

 

71%
of girls are more
interested in STEM

56%
of girls want to take a
STEM related course next semester

77%
of students want to 
study harder and graduate

     

Overall, the event was a huge success. Students engaged in the hands on experience of coding with the support of professionals. The panelists shared the journeys they took towards their careers at Microsoft and it was inspiring to hear a variety of paths. The students really respected the unfiltered versions of the professionals’ experiences in the workforce. Some of them were fortunate to land jobs fresh out of college while others took a nontraditional path to their careers. The encouragement from panelists for students to pursue their goals and persevere over challenges along the way was a common thread. It was an added perk to also hear how financially successful careers in the technology field can be. I think we have some future coders among us!

 

Student Takeaways:

  • “I found out I could actually make a job out of drawing. It inspires me to continue drawing and improve my artistic abilities.” – Selena, 9th grade
  • “I enjoyed the panel. It made me think about a future in computer science.” – Jadyn, 10th grade
  • “I enjoyed doing the coding. It was pretty fun and I like it.” – Catherine, 11th grade
  • “I enjoyed listening to how each person got to be where they are now and about the internships. It inspired me to do something I truly love.” – Erika, 11td grade
  • “Today taught me that as long as you love what you do, it’s okay to be different.” – Vanessa, 11th grade

  

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