IGNITE Field Trip at MicroVision with Sequoyah Middle School

On April 25, 2024, Sequoyah Middle School students from grades 6-8 visited MicroVision for an IGNITE Field Trip. This event took place at MicroVision’s headquarters, where 30 students had the chance to explore various high-tech labs, interact with professionals, and learn about the STEM field.

The event kicked off with an introductory speech by Drew Markham, setting the stage for an exciting day ahead. The students were then divided into smaller groups, each led by Tour Guides, including Keiana Hadrjireza, Danielle Bussman, Ammara Phongsraphang, Brandy Weaver, Roger Johhnson, Robin Mumm, Jason Wall, Andreas Gennis, and Mukund Bharadwaj. They navigated through different areas of MicroVision, observing the hardware stage, the assembly and calibration process in the manufacturing stage, testing in the long-range lab, and finally, seeing the technology installed in a Jeep. This hands-on experience allowed the students to grasp the complexity and collaboration required in tech product development.

One of the highlights of the day was the panel discussion featuring Keiana Hadrjireza, Liz Mandle, Catherine Reynolds, and Brandy Weaver. The students were eager to ask questions about the challenges faced in STEM careers, recommendations for aspiring STEM students, and personal anecdotes from the Panelists. Hadrjireza emphasized the importance of persistence and the value of exploring different academic paths, while Reynolds encouraged making mistakes and learning from them. Mandle’s story about being the only woman on her team during a major IPO at the New York Stock Exchange highlighted the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. Weaver shared insights into MicroVision’s planning, manufacturing, and testing phases.

Throughout the event, the students were actively involved, asking questions such as the duration of career paths, memorable career moments, and advice for future STEM professionals. The students were particularly interested in the interactive stations, where they could see the product development lifecycle firsthand. From hardware assembly to real-world testing, these stations illustrated the dynamic environment of a tech company. This event not only broadened their understanding of STEM careers but also inspired them to consider their potential in this exciting field. 

Thank you to Keiana Hadrjireza, Liz Mandle, Catherine Reynolds, Drew Markham, Danielle Bussman, Ammara Phongsraphang, Brandy Weaver, Roger Johhnson, Robin Mumm, Jason Wall, Andreas Gennis, Thomas Wimberly, Josephine Lacebal, Mark Fulwider, Reed Gunsalus, Mukund Bharadwaj, Stephanie Gregory, and Mark Stenberg for their exceptional contributions to this Field Trip and for sharing their careers with IGNITE Students in various ways. A special thank you to Educator Jaquette Easterlin for her support and commitment to inspiring 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:

This event inspired me because I think there should be more women working in STEM. Even hardworking women make mistakes.” – 6th Grade IGNITE Student

“This event really inspired me. I loved learning about STEM, and the people were super nice. I hope I can work at MicroVision one day. Thank you. I loved the laptop and lasers. They were a lot of fun. The people explained everything really nicely.” – 6th Grade IGNITE Student

“I always thought that the people that work here just sit and do math, but I realize it is a lot more fun.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to check out more STEM career choices in high school and after. I feel like I have a new perspective on STEM. I loved learning about the volunteers’ lives and obstacles and about MicroVision’s new project and how it works.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me because of the amount of work that it takes to achieve the goals set for themselves.” – 7th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me because I got to see things that I didn’t know I’d find interesting, and it inspired me by sharing stories. The process was my favorite thing I’ve seen and learned about today.” – 7th Grade IGNITE Student

It inspired me to have more confidence in any career. I am good at making stuff with paper, so maybe I will have a career similar to that. I liked learning how lidar worked and about the laser stuff.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

I loved how at the end of the day they told us how it’s okay to make mistakes, and that really inspired me. I learned all about how the MicroVision cars work and how they use special lasers to scan things around them.” – 6th Grade IGNITE Student

I felt inspired by the way that the women spoke about their experiences and jobs. I loved learning bits about the circuits and how lasers work in cars.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

What inspired me in today’s event is all the stories of the STEM people here. Another thing that inspired me is how respectful and into STEM people are. One of my favorite things I learned today is what our future cars will be like. Another of my favorite things I learned today is how they construct things.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

Today’s event inspired me because I now know that not many women are in the STEM field. I want them to know that this event will be memorable. My favorite thing that I learned today was how MicroVision works. Another thing I learned was how the lasers work for MicroVision.” – 7th Grade IGNITE Student

It was inspiring when they talked about their careers, and it was fun. I love when we get to look at cool things.” – 6th Grade IGNITE Student

It was fun and I learned more about STEM. My favorite thing about today was the car and the first lab.” – 8th Grade IGNITE Student

About MicroVision:

MicroVision is a pioneering company in MEMS-based laser beam scanning technology that integrates MEMS, lasers, optics, hardware, algorithms and machine learning software into its proprietary technology to address existing and emerging markets. The Company’s integrated approach uses its proprietary technology to provide automotive lidar sensors and solutions for advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) and for non-automotive applications including industrial, smart infrastructure and robotics. The Company has been leveraging its experience building augmented reality micro-display engines, interactive display modules, and consumer lidar modules.

About IGNITE Program Field Trip Events:

IGNITE Field Trips offer a memorable, behind-the-scenes look at STEM in action and the wide range of career opportunities at the host company. Company employees interact directly with the students through an office tour, hands-on STEM activities, and 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 www.igniteworldwide.org.

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