Microsoft Coding Workshop with Ingraham, Truman, and Chief Sealth International High Schools

 

 

December 12, 2019 | Microsoft Coding Workshop with Chief Sealth, Truman and Ingraham

On Dec. 12, young women from Chief Sealth International High School, Truman High School, and Ingraham High School met at Microsoft’s Redmond campus, eager to learn about coding!  The awesome volunteers were warm and welcoming and excited to greet the girls. They told us a little about coding and what to expect during the day, and each young lady was given a Surface Pro to use for the coding lesson!

First, the students were put to the test, asked questions in an online poll about women in STEM careers and how truly big the tech industry is in the Seattle area.  The girls were very engaged, and then everyone came back together and students were given prizes based on their answers. This activity was informative, and the young ladies all learned something new. You could tell the answers surprised them when they realized what opportunities await them after high school!

Once the students were comfortable with the Surface Pros, the coding started!  Using Small Basic, a programming language, the students learned how to program a turtle to move through a maze.  They could change the size, color, direction and speed of their turtle through small coding changes.  All of the students were fully engaged and having a great time learning and teaching each other what they were able to create; it was awesome to see!

Following the coding workshop, the girls enjoyed lunch and were able to engage and interact with young ladies from the two other schools. Together we all listened to an inspirational panel of professionals who work in a variety of departments at Microsoft.  All the speakers shared their personal stories about how they got to where they are today, barriers they faced and overcame, their educational background, and how awesome it is to work at Microsoft.  Many speakers said that they did not start out looking to work in tech, in fact quite the opposite. This was very helpful to let the girls know that it is okay to change your mind and explore new things.

The girls asked insightful questions during the Q&A session and learned more about what it’s like to be a woman working in the tech field. It was good for students to understand that not everyone has the same experience in the company. One of the big themes was that it’s okay to take chances and fail, because if you never try, you’ll never know if you can succeed!

The panel emphasized the importance of team work and hard work, and the girls were encouraged to not be afraid, be authentic, and to take risks to pursue something you love. Every one of the girls heard something that they could relate to, that they found inspiring, or that interested them.  When time was up, several students asked to go over and continue talking with the panelists; they had so many questions!

Many of the girls are now interested in going into the field of coding and had never considered it before! The students and chaperones all had a wonderful experience and truly appreciate the volunteers sharing their knowledge and their time.

Thank you, Microsoft, and all the amazing volunteers who helped put on this inspiring event!!

 

After attending this event:

86%

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

67%

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

Here's what the students enjoyed most:

 

"I enjoyed the turtle going through the maze because I helped it get there. It made me believe I could do more than direct a turtle. This event inspired me to keep attending IGNITE events and improve my coding skills."

- 9th grade

 

"I really enjoyed the panel portion. The speakers went really into depth about their careers and gave lots of info about the STEM field, while making it enjoyable. It was enjoyable and informative and overall very helpful regarding my future."

- 9th grade

 

"They emphasized that there's not just engineering. One of the speakers didn't even know what she wanted to do."

- 9th grade

 

"I enjoyed doing the coding. Hearing the panel talk about their experience in Microsoft inspired me."

- 10th grade

 

"Coding, hearing their strategies and challenges and how they overcame them inspired me."

- 10th grade

 

"I enjoyed how it is interesting to make code. It inspired me to join Microsoft!"

- 11th grade

 

"The questions we asked they answered. Really good and I enjoyed it! It inspired me to make more coding programs."

- 10th grade

 

"I enjoyed trying to do coding. It inspired me when they were answering our questions and told us how much they got paid."

- 10th grade

 

"The positive feedback that they gave us and their honest answers."

- 9th grade

 

"The panel discussion and how they came to work at Microsoft. It was really fun!"

- 9th grade

 

"My highlight of today was getting to know people's experiences."

- 9th grade

 

"I really enjoyed coding on the computer, and it was amazing to see the turtle moving."

- 12th grade

 

"That there are more jobs in Microsoft, not just coding."

- 12th grade

 

"Being able to program code!"

- 12th grade

 

"I enjoyed seeing everybody smile and have a great time. This field trip was amazing, and I loved everything about it."

- 12th grade

 

"When they talked to us and all the girls were able to ask questions and discuss them."

- 11th grade

 

"Seeing women of different ages, race, and sexualities was inspiring."

- 12th grade

 

"Coding! It inspired me to learn more about it."

- 9th grade

 

"Learning how to code, talking about Microsoft careers."

- 11th grade

 

"When they did the panel. I heard a lot that just inspired me."

- 9th grade

 

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