Graham-Kapowsin, Bethel, and Spanaway Lake HS at UW Informatics


On January 22, 2019, 40 young women in grades from 9 to 12 from Spanaway Lake, Bethel & Graham-Kapowsin High Schools attended a field trip to UW Informatics.

We arrived at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library and were kindly greeted by welcoming volunteers and offered of snacks and water to start out our afternoon.

On this IGNITE  trip, students learned all about the Informatics Program at UW and how it fit within the overall UW structure. Few of our students knew about the Informatics program was before attending this event. After it was done, we were all well informed that it is the science of human-centered information processing and part of the iSchool at UW.

After our information session, it was time to get the girls moving! They started off with a fun game where they each had a name and had to find their “partner” around the room. After that the girls broke off into groups of 4 or 5 and were given the task to design a new mobile application that would address a problem and help people in some way. They had to design it in detail and give a pitch to the group. The girls all did amazing! They were so inventive in their ideas and even the girls who are more shy, came out of their shell and were happy to share the ideas that they had come up with. It was a great activity to teach the girls how to use their problem solving skills in a technological environment.

We were all treated to some delicious pizza, salad and drinks, while the UW Informatics student panel came in ready to answer some questions. Allison Geary, Katie Goulding and Eva Perez were wonderful and all had different pathways that brought them to UW and the Informatics program. It was great to have a different perspective from each speaker since they are all at different stages in the program. The girls asked many questions about college and being in a STEM program, and the panelists were honest and engaging in their answers.

A big thank you to the volunteers at UW Informatics who organized this wonderful trip for our female students!

After attending this event:


of girls/non-binary students are more interested in STEM


of girls/non-binary students want to study harder to attend college and further their education

Highlights of the event for students:

“I enjoyed listening to what the students had to say, it inspired me to join more things and meet new people.”

– 9th grade


“The activity of making an app, I would like to create the app that we made.”

– 12th grade


“I liked how we got to work together and how they encouraged females to not be pressured if they are in a male dominated class.”

– 9th grade


“Seeing how hard university students work. It inspired me to start putting time into my work.

– 9th grade


I loved that we got to talk to current students and the info about getting in and continuing the program.”

– 11th grade


Learning about what UW has to offer. The panel inspired me that grades don’t define who you are as a person.”

– 12th grade


“Seeing and hearing from students in the program, it was inspirational to hear how Informatics mixed people’s interests to be the right major for them.”

– 10th grade


The fact that Informatics opens up so many different career pathways

– 11th grade


“The panel representatives actually inspired me to avoid my negative thoughts and do what I want to do in the future. They also made some things clear about college, which is always helpful.”

– 12th grade