IGNITE Women in STEM Panel at Talley High School

An upbeat IGNITE Panel Event took place on March 13, 2024, at Talley High School in Seattle, WA. The event featured Panelists from notable companies, including Pat Velasquez, a Software Developer at Seattle Children’s; Khyati Vyas, a Staff Technical Product Manager at Mason America; and Radha Chandrasekhar Mathur, a Product Lead at EMC.

Students at Talley also engaged in a Dream Board activity, in which students expressed their aspirations and goals visually. This hands-on approach not only used the students’ creativity but also provided them with tangible tools to navigate their future paths.

In addition to the Dream Board activity, students enjoyed a round of trivia, introducing some friendly competition into the mix. Throughout the panel discussion, students actively participated by posing thought-provoking questions to the Panelists, eager to learn about their diverse backgrounds and career journeys. These interactions fostered a sense of connection and inspiration, empowering students to explore the vast possibilities within STEM.

Thank you to the incredible Volunteers who dedicated their time and expertise to this event: Pat Velasquez, Khyati Vyas, and Radha Chandrasekhar Mathur. Your stories and insight helped inspire IGNITE Students. Additional thanks to Educator Rick Pitts, for his invaluable guidance and support for his students.

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:

“Everyone who spoke was very professional and confident. This inspired me to be confident. I learned it’s okay to take your time and work your talents.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

The volunteers shared the effort it took to get to where they are today and how they were optimistic about what they were confident about. Overall, it was a good experience.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Today inspired me to be more confident and creative. I also learned that I need to follow what inspires me. I truly want to learn more. Thank you!” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

This event made me think more about my career and my future.” – 9th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to hear about other people’s experiences and see how being in STEM impacted them. I really appreciate the panel volunteers taking time out of their schedules to come and present to us.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

This showed me I am capable of all, and inspired me to be confident. Thank you for coming out and sharing with us. We loved talking with you. We would love to have more events like this.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

I was inspired to learn more about STEM because I met three successful women in STEM. I learned there are many different STEM jobs and I found out about STEM classes at school.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

I learned a lot and it was a fun event. I learned that STEM jobs pay a lot of money. Our school did a good job bringing this event to us.” – 9th 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 www.igniteworldwide.org.

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