Afiniti AI/ML Work-Based Learning Experience with Brigadoon Elementary

On April 23, 2024, IGNITE Worldwide hosted a Virtual AI/ML Work-Based Learning Experience in collaboration with Afiniti. This event connected 26 students from Brigadoon Elementary in Federal Way, Washington with industry professionals through a virtual platform. Moderated by Kristin Renteria, with tech support from Lindsay Hua, the session featured Panelists Megan Chen, Nicole Lussier, and Kristin Johnston, along with Breakout Room Leaders Kashaf Jamshed, Wennahele Navarrete, Sona Virwani, and Kari Coughlon.

The event kicked off with an introduction to artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), led by the Afiniti team. The students were introduced to three fun AI experiments, where they could engage hands-on with the technology. The first activity involved playing rock, paper, scissors against Afiniti’s AI machine, showcasing how AI can predict and adapt to human behavior. In the second activity, students taught a machine to recognize their drawings, which was both educational and entertaining. The final activity allowed students to teach a machine how to distinguish between two classes of images, sounds, or poses, giving them a deeper understanding of machine learning principles.

One of the event highlights was the breakout room sessions. Students were split into smaller groups, where they could interact directly with the Panelists and Breakout Room Leaders. These sessions provided a setting for students to ask questions and receive personalized guidance. Educator Natalie Sword noted that the students particularly enjoyed these breakout room activities and seeing AI in action. They asked insightful questions such as, “How do you become a doctor or engineer?” and “How did you know you wanted to go to Harvard?” The Panelists shared valuable advice, encouraging students to explore their interests, seek help from teachers, and always strive to do their best in school.

The event wrapped up with a Q&A session, during which students could ask more questions and receive advice from the Panelists. The recurring theme from the Panelists was to find what they love and pursue it with passion. They emphasized the importance of trying new things and staying curious, which resonated with the students.

Special thanks to all the Volunteers who made this event possible—Kristin Renteria for her outstanding moderation and Lindsay Hua for her contribution as Tech Host. Our gratitude extends to our panelists—Megan Chen, Nicole Lussier, and Kristin Johnston—for sharing their insights and stories. Additional thanks to our Breakout Room Leaders and Translators, including Kashaf Jamshed, Wennahele Navarrete, Sona Virwani, and Kari Coughlon, for helping inspire IGNITE Students. Special thanks to Educator Natalie Sword for encouraging your students through the IGNITE Program.

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 inspired me because I got to meet so many people who work in STEM and who are successful.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

“When they said that a big part of getting a job in STEM is being good (like having good grades), it made me excited because I do really well in school. I also really want to be a doctor.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to do well in school.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to know STEM is part of our daily lives and its benefits.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

“It inspires me because I was kind of scared of doing it, then it made me comfortable.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

The presentation was fun and amazing.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to become something I want to be when I’m older.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me because I learned from people who are successful.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to become a doctor.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It helped me by making me think about the future and helped me learn that I can be successful.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to keep building robots.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

“The event inspired me by showing me I can do something if I try.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It helped me become more comfortable with becoming an engineer and being more confident.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It helped me feel good about the future.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to do better in my schoolwork to build a stronger mind to help my future career.” – 5th Grade IGNITE Student

It helped me learn that when you try hard, you can still do it if you believe in yourself.” – 4th Grade IGNITE Student

About Afiniti:

Afiniti uses patented artificial intelligence technology to pair participants in customer interactions based on how well they are likely to interact. Its technology is used globally in the healthcare, telecommunications, travel, hospitality, insurance, and banking industries, and across multiple customer experience channels. To learn more, visit

About IGNITE Program Work-Based Learning Experience Events:

Virtual Work-Based Learning Experiences are hosted on a virtual platform so students can sign on from anywhere and include an interactive, hands-on STEM activity focused on skill-building and real-world applications, like artificial Intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, or engineering, followed by an IGNITE Panel and Q&A discussion.

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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