Pixar Animation Studios Multilingual Field Trip with Rudsdale High School

On May 14, 2024, IGNITE Students participated in an IGNITE Field Trip to Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA. The event was hosted by the PixWIT (Pixar Women in Technology) group in collaboration with Vida, a Studio Resource Group whose mission is to represent, celebrate, and advocate for members of the American LatinX community at Pixar. The event was organized to serve a group of students from the Newcomer (Emerging Multilingual) Program at Rudsdale Continuation High School. This special event was IGNITE’s first multilingual in-person event and aimed to inspire students by showcasing the various careers available within design, digital arts, and other STEAM fields. The day included an introduction, studio tours, a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar’s creative process, and an engaging panel discussion with the majority of the event and the entire Panel hosted in Spanish.

The day began with a warm welcome from greeters Holly Lloyd, Morgan Miars, and Lindsey Voight. Students were then divided into three tour groups, including two Spanish-speaking groups and one English-speaking group, and led through the Steve Jobs Building galleries by tour guides Armando Gonzalez, Gracie Meza, Ivan Calderon, and Morgan Miars, with Lindsey Voight. The tours provided a fascinating glimpse into Pixar’s vibrant campus and the history behind its beloved animations.

Following the tour, students gathered in the screening room for a pipeline talk on how a Pixar movie is made from concept to completion. This insightful presentation was followed by an exclusive screening of the Spanish version of the upcoming Inside Out 2 trailer.

The event then moved into the panel discussion, featuring Jesus Martinez, Production Manager, Carlos León, Art Director, and Karla Herrera, Production Support Engineer. The Panelists shared their personal journeys, the challenges they faced, and major turning points in their careers. They emphasized the importance of networking and seizing opportunities, with Karla Herrera inspiring students to “do things with fear and take risks.”

The panel led into the Q&A session with Panelists and other Volunteers where students enjoyed snacks while engaging in further discussions. The event was impactful in numerous ways. Students gained invaluable insights into the various roles within Pixar, learning about both the technical and creative skills required. The personal stories and advice shared by the panelists resonated deeply with the students, particularly the emphasis on non-linear career paths and the significance of building connections. Representation played a crucial role, as students felt motivated by the genuine and diverse experiences of the Pixar staff.

Thank you to our amazing Volunteers and Educator who made the Pixar Field Trip an incredible experience for IGNITE Students. Special thanks to our greeters Holly Lloyd, Morgan Miars, and Lindsey Voight, and our Tour Guides Armando Gonzalez, Gracie Meza, Ivan Calderon, and Morgan Miars, for their enthusiastic tours. Additional thanks to, Holly Lloyd for also Facilitating this event. Thank you to our Panelists Jesus Martinez, Carlos León, and Karla Herrera, for sharing their inspiring career journeys. Lastly, a big thank you to Educator Jessica Wan, whose support and enthusiasm are invaluable.

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:

Today showed me that I can achieve my dreams and that even though the road is not easy, it can be achieved if you set your mind to it.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

This event taught me that I can be confident to bring my art to the best level and see it grow big. They take a lot of time to make the finished movie!” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Today taught me to do things with fear and not worry about finding what is right or wrong for you, just do something you are proud of. I learned about each step of how to create each drawing and use each effect on each video.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

I liked that in spite of obstacles, people continue to achieve their dreams. I liked the whole process that is behind a movie.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Today inspired me to do things I am afraid to do. I liked learning about the movies that haven’t come out yet.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

Everything was really interesting, and everything they talked about made me want to keep going and study more. It was cool to see the first sketch before they make the animations.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

This inspired me to not be afraid. I liked knowing how producers work hard to make films. I liked the experience.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

Today inspired me to be brave and follow my goals. I loved learning more about the great work that is drawing. Many thanks to each person who took the time to help us.” – 12th Grade IGNITE Student

This taught me to not be afraid to try because everything is possible with effort and hard work. First of all, I would like to thank the people who work in these facilities; their work is admirable. What I learned is that it doesn’t matter if you are a woman, you can achieve and do a job out of the ordinary.” – 11th Grade IGNITE Student

This showed me that I can continue with my goal and pursue STEM.” – 10th Grade IGNITE Student

About Pixar Animation Studios:

Pixar Animation Studios is an animated filmmaking company in Emeryville, CA. Pixar has made 27 feature films starting with Toy Story in 1995, and their most recent films include Turning Red, Lightyear, and Elemental.

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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