Skip to Content


“IGNITE: Impacting our everyday World through Women”
Cathi Rodgveller, M.S. Ed, Director and Founder of IGNITE

IGNITE is a Seattle based non-profit organization with a 10+ year history of showing young girls the possibilities represented by STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. IGNITE offers an affordable, community based, multifaceted approach to STEM education – providing toolkits and curriculum which allow educators across the globe to replicate the successful model that thrives in Seattle public schools. IGNITE brings together young women, educators and women professionals who work for local companies and agencies and live in nearby neighborhoods.

We’ve seen life-changing results for more than 18,000 girls. In Seattle, the number of young women in technology courses more than doubled after the implementation of the IGNITE program in high schools. IGNITE has received many awards, including; Cisco’s “Gender Initiative Award;” the “Programs and Practices that Work Award” from the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE); and IGNITE founder, Cathi Rodgveller, was honored by Women’s enews as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”

But what does this powerful program mean for the educators involved in running the program, the professional volunteers, and most important, the girls themselves? Cathi’s presentation illuminates what makes this experience special, sharing specific stories from students, educators, and STEM volunteers. We know firsthand that most young women in the program don’t have strong female role models in science and technology, so they are guided only by the often skewed portrayal in popular media. By bringing the teens into the workplace (job shadows, field trips, etc.), IGNITE offers local role models and mentors. This interaction reframes the image of STEM careers and firmly bases it within reach, stimulated by real life.

Cathi will discuss IGNITE’s growing national and global focus. United States Senator Maria Cantwell has partnered with our founder to initiate national legislation, named after IGNITE to honor this work, that will provide $50 million in funding for girls’ technology education. The State Department has identified IGNITE as a representative model for educators around the world attempting to increase female STEM representation, and Cathi regularly meets with international delegations as part of this effort. IGNITE extends its impact in developing countries as the curriculum is being translated into multiple foreign languages. We’re reaching out to educators in Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Libya, England and Egypt in addition to our continued work in the United States. This presentation will lay out the blueprint for effectively inspiring a new generation of women.

Download our IGNITE Fact Sheet: