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Vol 2  Issue 5 | November 7, 2019

Derech Emunah Newsletter
Derech Emunah Visits Microsoft for an Exhilarating Day of Fun and Learning

By Anjana Ravi, STEM, Mathematics and Computer Science


Derech Emunah recently visited Microsoft for a much anticipated day of  learning, fun and problem-solving.


Upon arrival, we met with the Microsoft employee volunteers, who would be our guides and facilitators for the day. We marveled at the size of the vast Microsoft campus.


Following a lunch with unlimited drinks, the girls split into groups for their first activity, which was brainstorming what new application (app) they would like to see created that would benefit their local community.


They wrote their ideas on sticky notes and posted them on the wall. Then they did design analysis, where they visualized and then drew diagrams of the app screens as they would appear to the app user. Finally, each group explained what impact they imagined the app would have. Strong teamwork and collaboration were present in all the groups.


Two of the apps the girls worked on included an app to help people in Seward Park know if the Eruv is up each Friday, and an app to help teachers understand what comparable teacher's salaries are in the Seattle area.


In my opinion, the paper prototyping activity using sticky notes and drawing the app screens was profound. It gave us a glimpse into the everyday life of Microsoft employees and the processes they use to build apps.


We then visited the Inclusive Tech Lab, whose mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.The head of the lab explained how they designed more inclusive gaming controllers so that any person could operate an Xbox controller. He described the challenges people with disabilities face using technology and the process his team uses to come up with the necessary design modifications. 


Our students learned the potential of this vital program and how it benefits people with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), Muscular Dystrophy (MD ), and similar conditions.


The girls found the whole Microsoft experience to be exciting and eye-opening. We look forward to a follow-up visit soon when the girls begin designing socially relevant apps using Java/Python.


Postscript: Our girls plan to participate in the 2020 Technovation Girls Competition. This global tech education nonprofit empowers girls to become leaders, creators, and problem-solvers. With the help of volunteer mentors, our students will work on producing mobile apps that are socially relevant and that address problems in local and global communities the world over.



Upcoming Dates and Events

November 25th

Parent Teacher Conferences


November 28-29th
Thanksgiving - No School


December 5th
Visit from Dr. David Luchins
Touro College

Dr. David Luchins is Founding Dean, Professor, Chair, Political Science Department of Lander College for Women (TOURO) 

Derech Emunah Girls
"A Sprinkling of Comments by Our Students"

The group brainstorming session about making an app was fun because it required us to use our creativity for real-world issues.


Fun to see how an app gets created


It was cool to see all the projects done by other girls our age. I would enjoy coming back to visit again.


It was beneficial to brainstorm with a group and then hear the input of the Microsoft employees.


I would love to develop our group's idea even further.


I found the whole experience to be very interesting and eye-opening


It was so cool to experience the way app designers think and plan, and we were able to learn many problem-solving techniques.


We worked together to explore different issues in our communities and how we could use technology to fix them. It was fascinating to hear everyone's ideas


Technovation Girls also showed us how we, as females could successfully enter the industry of technology and what we could bring to the table as working women.