As part of its annual high school engagement program and continued commitment to reach students through education, employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, Microsoft recently played host to students from six of Washoe County School District’s high school Signature Academy classes with a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus.
More than 150 WCSD students descended on Microsoft’s Reno campus to continue a year-long discussion about the creation of products and solutions for some of the world’s biggest problems and inspire the use of technology.
According to company spokeswoman, Microsoft has been affiliated with the school district for various projects over the past six years. However, during the past two, the company has really focused its involvement with and connection to working with the Signature Academies and career and technical education programs. The high school engagement program is designed to enable employees to visit with local high school students and host them in the workplace to provide insight into the high-demand careers field such as information technology and computer science, in addition to a glimpse of a “typical” day at Microsoft and life/career lessons.
Throughout the year, each class makes a separate visit to the Microsoft campus to participate in a day of activities, including an informational career session, hands-on technology demonstrations and team building exercises. New this year, the students at Sparks, Spanish Springs, North Valleys, Hug and AACT high schools were asked to develop ideas and projects connected to the Imagine Cup — Microsoft’s global student technology competition. The competition provides students with the opportunity to learn new technology skills and take charge of their future.
With an overall mission to “inspire the entrepreneurial spirit of high school students by exposing them to Microsoft culture, products, and careers,” 75 percent of the students cited that they would research careers in technology and 82 percent said they would use technology more based on their visits to Microsoft.
Headquartered in Reno since 1997, Microsoft enables organizations, large and small, to acquire, distribute and utilize the company’s vast array of products, including software, devices and services.
One of only three operations centers in the world for Microsoft Corporation, Americas Operations Center (Microsoft Reno) employs approximately 500 professionals and supports Microsoft’s operations for Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), Volume Licensing, XBOX, Online Advertising and Dynamics throughout North and South America.