Virtual Show-and-Tell Mini-Panel with Brigadoon Elementary School

On February 7, 2024, IGNITE Students from Brigadoon Elementary School in Federal Way, WA joined STEM professionals from Seattle Children’s, Disney Streaming, and other companies for a Virtual Elementary Show-and-Tell Mini-Panel. This IGNITE Program Event brought together 29 bright minds from grades 4 and 5, eager to learn about the world of STEM. Pat Velasquez, Software Developer at Seattle Children’s, and Maitri Chattopadhyay, Senior Software Engineer at Disney Streaming, headlined the panel discussion, inspiring the students with their experiences.

Pat and Maitri’s advice resonated with the students, encouraging them to be brave and embrace new opportunities. Their emphasis on pursuing passions and integrating them into their futures struck a chord with the students. The interaction between Panelists and students created a vibrant atmosphere, fostering a sense of empowerment and providing the students with the opportunity to ask questions.

Ultimately, the IGNITE Worldwide Virtual Elementary Mini-Show-and-Tell Panel provided a platform for young students to learn about STEM careers and have an early interaction with women STEM professionals in these roles.

Thank you to our dedicated Volunteers and Educators who made this event an unforgettable experience. To Pat Velasquez and Maitri Chattopadhyay, your passion for sharing your career journeys and inspiring young minds is so appreciated. Thank you to Rebekah Luce and Vivienne Gunadhi for ensuring a flawless event as Tech Hosts. Thanks to Lubia Urdaneta and Marat Kazarov for providing Spanish and Ukrainian translations, respectively; their help ensured that every participant felt included and valued. Special appreciation goes to Jenna Marx for her help as Facilitator. Last but not least, a heartfelt thank you to Educator Natalie Sword for her dedication to empowering students in STEM.

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:

“It started to encourage me more about STEM. It made me want to help out to get girls to come do STEM. I loved how we could talk about the different jobs that they do.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked asking the panelists questions.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to try even when things are really hard.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

My favorite thing about the event was that we got to talk to amazing people in the event.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

“It inspired me because it made me comfortable thinking STEM will be my future.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

My favorite thing about the event was learning about STEM.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked learning more about science and Disney.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

This inspired me to be confident in working in STEM.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

My favorite part was how the STEM people inspired other people with confidence.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me because I can experience new things.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

My favorite part of the event was how the volunteers explained their life stories and how they got interested in STEM.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

This event helped me to understand the benefits of being in STEM and what it can help me learn.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I like how the panelists answered our questions and explained what STEM is and what it provides.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked asking the volunteers what their jobs were like.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

“The event helped me to know if I should do STEM in the future. I liked hearing the panelists talk about STEM!” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I learning what the people said about their jobs and tips!” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

Now I know there are a lot more jobs that I will think about applying for. I’d like to thank the volunteers who took their time out of the day to do this!” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I learned how much money I could earn and what kind of STEM things I could do.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me about my future. I liked when the panelists were answering the questions.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

This event inspired me to do what is good. I liked everything!” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I learned more science and having women teaching was fun. My favorite thing was meeting the Disney engineer because I love Disney and I went to Disney World.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked it because I felt comfortable.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It helped me feel more comfortable and interested in STEM. I got to meet new women who love to do STEM.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

About IGNITE Program Panel Events:

Virtual or In-Person IGNITE Panels empower women in STEM careers to connect directly with students by sharing their academic and professional journeys. IGNITE Students are inspired by hearing stories they can relate to, and Q&A discussions help break down stereotypes that hold them back from engaging in STEM classes and careers.

About IGNITE Worldwide:

IGNITE Worldwide is a 501(c)3 nonprofit STEM education organization that aims to change gender and racial equity in STEM permanently and systematically. We work directly with teachers during the school day to provide programming that promotes gender equity and representation in STEM academics and careers. Through our award-winning program, IGNITE provides engaging, hands-on events that connect students with STEM professionals from industry leaders from around the world. Learn more at

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