In-Person Women in STEM Panel with Auburn Mountainview High School

On February 15, 2023, IGNITE Students from Auburn Mountainview High School took part in an IGNITE Event. Students were given the opportunity to hear stories from STEM professionals and ask questions.

The panel consisted of the following:

Laura Bartenhagen, Principal I Civil Engineer at ESM Consulting Engineers, holds 24 years of industry experience in the engineering field. She shared the benefits of engineering with the students and reflected on the many possible pathways within the industry.

Shaude’ Moore, BSHS, MBA, EdD Candidate, Global Program Manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS), is a Federal Way Public Schools graduate. When she started her position, she was the only woman in security on the West Coast—eight years later, there are now many women in lead roles supporting physical security operations globally for her organization. Shaude’ hopes to inspire more equity in her division through sharing the importance of diversity and inclusion. She holds degrees in human services and business administration, and she has had the flexibility to be in school throughout her career, so much so that she is currently a doctoral candidate.

During the event, the panelists shared the following advice:

  • Education is important.
  • Continue to advocate for yourself in the workplace.
  • Work hard in school – especially in math and science.
  • Family and career can be done.

Students ask the panelists the following questions:

  • How do they juggle family with career?
  • How long did the panelists go to school?
  • How does if feel to be in a male-dominated field?
  •  How did they receive raises and promotions?

The panelists did an amazing job answering student questions. They were astute and insightful.  It was wonderful to hear about their stories on how they got into the positions they are in now. A highlight of the event was the panelist’s story about a company that went bankrupt and asked the panelist to become part owner of the company, helping in bringing the company back to success.

Thank you to IGNITE Volunteers Laura Bartenhagen and Shaude’ Moore for sharing their insights and stories. Additional thanks to the IGNITE Students from Auburn Mountainview High School for their respect and enthusiasm!

After attending this event:


of students are interested in STEM

Take STEM Class


of students know more about STEM career choices and the benefits of working in a STEM field

Ask Teacher about Additional STEM Activities


of students feel more confident in pursuing STEM


of students gained perspective and feel more hopeful about the future

Here’s what the students thought of the event:

This event inspired me because it let me know that it’s okay to choose a career that mostly men work in. It also made me want to continue the path I have started for my future. Overall, it really inspired me to do my very best and try to make the best out of what I learn. When I heard the women say she helped build Wild Waves, I was really shocked. Thank you Mrs. Ainsworth for letting me know about the IGNITE Program!” – 9th grade

“At first, I thought I might not be capable of working at Microsoft or that it wouldn’t be beneficial for me. But after today, I realized that it is one of my greatest decisions to join STEM and that I wont let go of it. I will work super hard to achieve my spot.” – 9th grade

“Today’s event inspired because I learned more about the benefits of a job in STEM. Along with a good salary, this field is often flexible and offers job security. I learned more about the different fields related to STEM and I am more aware of my options. I don’t feel limited to certain STEM based jobs and learned more about which classes can be helpful as a high school student and which classes are unneccessary. Thank you to the volunteers for taking the time to teach us about being a woman in STEM!” – 10th grade

Today’s event inspired me to actually be confident about pursuing a career in STEM. I am more confident in what career path I am planing to go down and now know the benefits that come along with being a woman pursing a STEM career. A big take away was that I am glad that the volunteers/women have careers in STEM. They taught me to not to be afraid of taking a different career path then others around me and that no matter what career I choose in the future, there will always be challenges. They said to choose a career that we are interested in, and not one that we are not. I thank the volunteers that came today because I no longer feel lost on if I actually want to go with a career in STEM.” – 9th grade

This experience inspired me because there’s many more careers options available that I never thought about. Working in STEM is empowering and it’s something I’m now considering doing. It was helpful hearing about managing your career while being a mother and I learned that there’s a small percentage of women in STEM.” – 10th grade

After the event, I felt very motivated to work on my grades and take harder classes. The speakers taught me how to manage work life and personal life and taught me a lot about STEM. Thank you a lot for having this conversation with us! I learned how the STEM field is for women.” – 10th grade

It was great to see woman who actually work in the field I’m hoping to go into because most STEM people I know tend to be men. It also showed me that it’s not only me- I am not the only girl who is trying to do this, which is nice. The panelists gave really good advice about being confident and bold and no matter what anyone says, make sure that you are getting what you deserve and communicating that.” – 12th grade

“I enjoyed listening to both of the speakers. They both came from very different life backgrounds and it was cool to hear their perspectives on how they got involved in STEM. Thank you to the speakers for sharing your experiences with us and giving us the opportunity to learn more about the STEM industry. I’m not sure if STEM is a career I’ll pursue, however STEM does sound more interesting after today.” – 11th grade

It was inspiring to hear the panelists explain how they got to where they are and how they accomplished their goals.” – 9th grade