T-Mobile Tech Experience Field Trip with Mattson Middle School

On May 11, 2023, Mattson Middle School in Kent School District had an amazing experience on an IGNITE Field Trip to the T-Mobile Tech Experience Center! Right away, they knew it would be a special event when their bus pulled up to music playing, volunteers dancing and waving hello, and a drone flying overhead! 

The event began with an introduction to wireless and 5G technology, where students learned how much technology has evolved since the first mobile phone in 1983! Then they were introduced to programming and the unity language, which they got to try during an activity. With the support of T-Mobile mentors Henry Li, Nguyen Duong, Rowan Andruscavage, Elizabeth Zhang, and Woody Sellers, students learned how to code robot cars that run on the 5G network. Many groups got creative with their commands and made their cars race or do tricks!

Next, the students got a chance to explore a few demo stations that took them more in-depth into some of the 5G applications beyond the mobile phone, including robotics, hydroponics, drones, and augmented reality. 

During the second half of the event, students enjoyed a pizza lunch and met two T-Mobile professionals who work in different areas of STEM:

Blake Aviles, Senior Communications Specialist, grew up with divorced parents, which she said could be rough. She followed her mom’s path with an interest in cheer, dance, and technology. In school, Blake said yes to a multitude of opportunities and classes. Even if you don’t think you’ll be good at it, she said, try anyway! Sometimes you have to make your own magic since you’re in control of how you respond to things that life throws at you. Blake worked very hard to break into the theme park industry with Disney, then pivoted to an area that interested her: technology! She loved creating impact with a company that touches so many communities.

Veslava Ovendale, Senior User Experience Researcher, discovered user research while completing a Master’s in Information Management program at the University of Washington. She began her T-Mobile career as a user research intern and then was hired full-time! Her job involves designing and executing research studies to learn how to design products that are user-friendly. 

The students had a blast! T-Mobile was amazing, and all the staff were so good with the students. A huge thank you to T-Mobile, especially Candice Boyd, Beckie Stark, Shayla Solvey, Henry Li, Nguyen Duong, Rowan Andruscavage, Michelle Balatico, Elizabeth Zhang, Kyle Hokenson, Woody Sellers, Blake Aviles, and Veslava Ovendale for hosting IGNITE students for such a meaningful experience!

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:

“After today, I am inspired to be a better person.” – 8th grade

Learning about different aspects of pursuing a STEM careers peaked my interests in it. I now want to consider a career in STEM. I learned choosing a career takes more experimenting. You don’t have to know everything, and should just be curious.” – 7th grade

This event inspired me by teaching me more about tech and to not be afraid of things you can’t do.” – 8th grade

I was inspired today by the way the T-Mobile workers united and made a great demonstration about how their careers work.” – 8th grade

Today’s event inspired me because I saw the happiness of the workers and their opportunities. I also was inspired when seeing the advanced projects that they did. I took away that the large and advanced projects, and the engineers were amazing. They were so kind and inviting and they made me want to work here.” – 7th grade

“This event inspired me because I want to become a coder. I learned to not be afraid to do things that I want.” – 8th grade

Today inspired me think about my education and get the job I like. I learned that 3D printing can replace making parts with metal and that augmented reality can supply solutions to problems.” – 7th grade

“The event inspired me. My big takeaways were that technology can do so much and that if people work together, they can accomplish so much.” – 7th grade

“Today inspired me by making me believe in myself. I learned to not be afraid to do things and make mistakes.” – 8th grade

This event inspired me because I learned that anyone can get a job in STEM and you don’t need to know everything.” – 8th grade

The staff helped me realize that I have to pursue my future instead of wasting it. Thank you T-Mobile, I learned a lot like how to code.” – 7th grade

Today’s event really inspired me because of how the volunteers succeeded and how much change happened.” – 8th grade

This inspired me to continue my interests in STEM. This helped me learn about some of the main things surrounding the generations of phones.” – 7th grade

This event inspired me to want to be an engineer. One big takeaway is the latency of old phones.” – 8th grade

Today’s event inspired me by showing me all of the things in STEM and the impact phones make. The main thing I learned is that 5G is mainly coverage, and speed. Thank you T-Mobile team volunteers.” – 7th grade

“This event inspired me to learn more about robots. It also inspired me about STEM.” – 7th grade

This event inspired me to be better.” – 7th grade

Today’s events inspired me to speak to my teacher about technology and games that are created and I would like to create them too. My big takeaways from today were how 5G works and what the g’s stand for.” – 7th grade

“Today inspired me because I might not be able to get a scholarship for college, so it helps knowing I could get a job here anyway because you can get a job without a degree.” – 7th grade

Today was really fun and I now know more about coding.” – 8th grade