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Thank You for
Supporting IGNITE!

There are many ways you can help inspire girls* in STEM! Volunteer opportunities include speaking as a Panelist, serving as Facilitator, Tech Host, or Language Translator for virtual events; or capturing the inspiration as an IGNITE Event Recorder!

Each role involves training to help make sure IGNITE Students – and you – have the best experience possible. Please read the event and role descriptions carefully. All Panelists are required to review our Panelist Training Video once per school year and attend a Virtual Panelist Coaching Session before their first panel.

IGNITE Worldwide is the answer to achieving gender equity in STEM. IGNITE works directly with educators to connect girls* with STEM opportunities during the school day. Our award-winning Program offers a variety of interactive events featuring STEM professionals** who represent IGNITE Students.

*We serve girls, young women, nonbinary, transgender, agender, and genderqueer students.
**We encourage women, nonbinary, transgender, agender, and genderqueer volunteers.

Volunteer Opportunities

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Host IGNITE Students at Your Company

Hosting an IGNITE field trip allows girls to see STEM in action and learn about the variety of careers in STEM. This experience is also a great way to build community at your company and raise awareness about gender equity!

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Frequently Asked Questions

IGNITE stands for Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution. We work directly with educators to help students of underrepresented genders learn about the variety and possibilities of STEM careers and encourage them to participate in STEM classes and clubs at their school.

IGNITE offers virtual events nationwide and in-person events in the Puget Sound (WA), Bay Area (CA), and DC Metro Area, including:

  • Virtual and in-person IGNITE Panels with women, nonbinary, transgender, agender, and genderqueer STEM professionals
  • Field Trips hosted at a local company, featuring a tour, interactive activity, lunch, and an IGNITE Panel
  • Virtual Work-Based Learning Experiences, which are hosted by a company partner and include an interactive activity and IGNITE Panel
  • In-Person Workshops at a local school, including an interactive activity and an IGNITE Panel

We welcome volunteers in the following roles—check our Volunteer page and sign up for our Volunteer mailing list to learn about new opportunities:

  • Panelist: Women, nonbinary, transgender, agender, and genderqueer professionals working in STEM and Skilled Trades fields where women are underrepresented can join panels virtually or in their local region to share their personal and career journey and answer student questions. 
  • Specific to Virtual Panels:
    • Facilitator: Introduce and moderate a panel of professionals—all genders welcome!
    • Tech Host: Support the Zoom call—all genders welcome!)
  • Translator: Support students who speak a variety of primary languages to fully engage in IGNITE events (virtual and in-person opportunities, as requested by educators).
  • Other opportunities as available!

We are also always looking for event partners to host events, including Field Trips at a company site, Workshops at local schools, and virtual Work-Based Learning Experiences. Visit our Company page or contact us to learn more! 

  1. Subscribe to our volunteer mailing list so you learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities!
  2. Sign up to volunteer at an IGNITE event! Please view the opportunities on this page and sign up to volunteer at an event that works best with your schedule. We have panelist, facilitator, tech host,  and translator roles available. After you sign up, IGNITE will be in touch with you to confirm. 
  3. If you have signed up for a panelist role at an IGNITE event, review our 11-minute Panelist Training Video once per school year  and sign up for a live, interactive 1-hour Virtual Panelist Coaching Session if you have not attended one in the past. Coaching sessions are offered several times per month. The training and coaching is mandatory for panelists and provides important context, tips, and practice around how to best share information with students. 

Panelists, Tech Hosts, Facilitators, and all company volunteers have access to IGNITE materials and staff to guide them through each event from start to finish. Each role requires slightly different preparation to your event goes smoothly and students—and volunteers!—all have a meaningful experience.

  • Panelists: Review our brief Panelist Training Video once per school year and attend a one-time, hour-long Virtual Panelist Coaching Session before speaking on your first panel to practice your story and get feedback on how to make it engaging and relevant for students.
  • Facilitator and Tech Host: Attend one virtual training session prior to your first IGNITE event.

As an IGNITE volunteer, we value your time and your willingness to share your story and/or talents in support of our IGNITE students. You determine how often you would like to participate and in what capacity. Event duration is listed for each volunteer opportunity on our website. For virtual events, a 30-minute pre-event meeting helps the Panelists, Facilitator and Tech Host(s) connect to establish the flow of the event.

Panelist Coaching Sessions are only for panelists who are currently signed up to be on an upcoming panel. All of these upcoming panelists, including past IGNITE panelists, must attend a live, interactive 1-hour Panelist Coaching Session if they have not attended an IGNITE panelist coaching session in the past. The Panelist Coaching Session is virtual and offered several times a month. The coaching provides important context, tips, and practice around how to best share information with students. 

IGNITE panels are life-changing opportunities for girls and gender-diverse students to connect directly with STEM professionals they can relate to, to learn about their experiences. Panels take place at local schools, virtually or in-person, or as part of an IGNITE field trip or workshop.

At the beginning of the event, a panel facilitator (either the IGNITE teacher at the school or an IGNITE volunteer) will take few minutes to introduce students to the issue of the gender gap in STEM fields and why diverse perspectives are so important. 

For the first half of the panel, each speaker will take about 3 minutes to tell their story. This includes their journey to a STEM career, obstacles overcome, and what their job is now. Please be sure to take our 11-minute training to prepare for this part of the panel. 

The second half of the panel is a Q&A discussion with the students! They will ask some amazing questions, which often leads to deeper discussions about gender equity in STEM.

Panels take place during the academic year (August to June) during the school day. 

Panels are held at middle and high schools with IGNITE chapters, either virtually or in person at schools in the Puget Sound (WA), Bay Area (CA) or DC Metro Area. Panels may also be part of a company field trip, workshop, or virtual work-based learning experience. 

Feel free to wear whatever you normally would! Casual or business is fine. 

When you sign up for a panel, you will be connected with other volunteers through a calendar invite (let us know when you sign up if you would prefer not to have your information shared publicly). We highly encourage volunteers for virtual events to get together for a run-through prior to the event. A few days in advance of an in-person panel, the IGNITE teacher or an IGNITE staff member will contact all speakers with detailed arrival instructions and reminders. Panelists often find it helpful to connect before events and for professional networking, so feel free to reach out to one another!

Each panelist will need to incorporate 1-2 physical visual aids for both in-person and virtual panels to help students get to know you and your job!

For in-person events, if you plan on needing access to a projector display, please let IGNITE know in advance so we can communicate this with the IGNITE teacher.

It is great that you found your place in STEM despite following a nontraditional path! However, it is increasingly more competitive and difficult to do this (and to move around once you have a career). If you were a teenager today, what advice would you give yourself about preparing for a future STEM career? We want to encourage students to develop technical skills now. For example, a 2-year STEM degree could make an incredible difference in creating an attainable future!

For grades 8 and under, it is best to focus on the girls’ immediate futures. What classes would you suggest they take in high school? What other activities can they be involved in to help sharpen their technical skills? Even more general advice to try new things and not let others’ tell you ‘no’ can be very impactful!

We would love to connect with you to answer your questions. Please email contactus@ignite-worldwide.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.