MAGIC News

July 2017: MAGIC Summer Session Kicks Off

MAGIC has two pilot partners this summer, one on the west coast and the other on the east coast!

Six middle and high schooler mentees from the Menlo School in Atherton, CA, are participating in the MAGIC summer mentoring session. Three of the girls are rising eighth graders and the other three are rising tenth graders.

Our second pilot partner this summer is the Leap for Education (Leap4Ed) organization in Salem, MA. Two Leap4Ed girls are mentees with MAGIC this summer; one is a rising eighth grader and the second is a rising ninth grader. Both the girls are graduates of the Girls Who Code program at Leap4Ed.

The summer mentoring session will last ten to twelve weeks, and will culminate with the mentees doing a final presentation of their projects.

June 2017: Ninth MAGIC Session Concludes!

The last set of mentees from the 2016-2017 MAGIC session presented their projects in a final presentation event held at Google Headquarters on June 9th, 2017. These mentees included those from the East Coast (MA, NY) as well as from the West Coast (CA), and consisted of high school girls from the MAGIC partner school Oak Grove in San Jose, as well as middle and high school girls from non-partner schools.

The event started with a mentor-mentee lunch at one of Google's famous cafes, and was followed by a tour of the Google campus and visitor center. The day culminated with the final presentation and demonstration event, where each mentee then made a short presentation of her MAGICal experience and her project, and then gave a demonstration of her project. The audience for this event included family members of the presenters, peer mentees, mentors, teachers, school administrators, MAGIC supporters, and members of the MAGIC core team.

We are grateful to Google for sponsoring this event!

Many thanks to Ian Gulliver (MAGIC Advisory Board member) for video-recording the presentations as well as mentee interviews during the demo sessions, and to MAGIC mentor Hosanna Fuller for conducting the mentee interviews. Video snippets of the mentee presentations and interviews for this and all other MAGIC final presentation events of 2016-2017 will be posted once they are available, on our website as well as on our Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

Here's the list of mentees (with the corresponding mentor names in parentheses) who presented, together with a link to the presentation slide deck:

  • Mentees (mentors): Charlize A (Deepa M), Raaga P (Sandra H), Emily T (Lakshmi KP), Lauren L (Becky B), Shreya S (Jen T and Uma M), Siya K (Venmathi G), Amelia R (Hema H), Ananya P (Huimee S), Cindy G (Joan C), Najma A (Anurupa R)
  • Presentation slide deck
  • Coordinators: Jazmine Jung (Oak Grove), Kim Fujikawa (LA schools), Ira Pramanick (All others)

A huge congratulations to all the mentee-mentor pairs as well as the coordinators for an outstanding job!

May 2017: MAGIC Partners with the Open University of Tanzania

MAGIC is partnering with the Open University of Tanzania (OUT) to run its STEM mentoring program under the name BIG SISTER IN STEM (BigSiS) in Tanzania. As part of the program activities, OUT facilitated the "2017 Girls in ICT Day", where Tanzanian government officials and several women role models were involved. The Tanzanian government representative, e-Government Agency CEO Dr. Jabiri Bakari, presented the key education statistics that show the involvement of women in different educational levels. He also informed the audience of the shortage of women in the STEM workforce. Women in STEM role models Dr. Magreth Mushi and Dr. Carina Wangwe related their experiences in navigating the challenges faced by women in STEM careers. After the talks, the girls were involved in hands-on practice in the computer lab to explore different areas in STEM. The main activities in the lab involved website design and development, video production, games development, and apps development. Thereafter, the girls and facilitators were taken on a tour of one of the leading banks in Tanzania, NMB, where they were met with women from the IT department. This tour was followed by another tour, of the University of Dar es Salaam Computing Center (UCC), where they visited the server room and talked to women working in STEM fields. It was indeed a wonderful day!

May 2017: Ninth MAGIC Sessions Conclude at Various Locations

Several of our partner schools hosted final presentation events for their MAGIC mentee students during the month of May. Each of the mentees presented their work to an audience of peer mentees, mentors, teachers, school administrators, and members of the MAGIC core team. These events marked the conclusion of the 2016-17 MAGIC mentoring sessions at these schools.

Many thanks to Ian Gulliver (MAGIC Advisory Board member) for video-recording all the final presentation events, and to MAGIC mentor Shami Ahuja, MAGIC Eastside contact Judy Wong-Chen, MAGIC Ann Richards contact Kristina Read, for conducting the mentee interviews.

Following is the list of the final presentations together with the names of the mentees (the corresponding mentor names in parentheses). Links to the presentation slide decks are also provided. We are grateful to the MAGIC coordinators at these schools.


A huge congratulations to all the mentees for their hard work and wonderful projects, and to all the mentors for guiding their mentees as they explored the magic of STEM and their dedication to the cause!

April 2017: MAGIC Participates in Roundtable Hosted by Nancy Pelosi's Office

MAGIC was honored to be invited to a roundtable discussion on the topic of girls in STEM, hosted by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office on Friday, April 7. MAGIC was asked to share issues and concerns about advancing girls in STEM. We discussed broadband access for all, and increasing resources within schools to help support girls in the program.

Leader Pelosi's D.C. representatives provided updates on policy issues that impact our programs. Other STEM-related organizations present included Girls in Tech, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, and TechWomen.

Ira Pramanick and Michelle Garcia represented MAGIC at this event.

March 2017: MAGIC Mentee Wins Second Place at Teen Entrepreneur Challenge

Congratulations to Joon Luther, a MAGIC mentee from the 2015-2016 session, who recently won second place in the Santa Cruz Teen Entrepreneur Challenge , together with her friend Sophia! Here’s what Joon had to say about her project:

“Our vision was to create a website where someone could order a lunch for themselves through a delivery company, and also order a lunch for a child in need. We called our website 'Share-A-Lunch', then coded it completely from scratch using HTML and CSS. After we finished our project, we sought help from mentors as to how we could improve our website and our project as a whole."

Joon's MAGIC mentor was Neetu Jain.

January 2017: MAGIC Expands to Austin, Texas

MAGIC kicked off a pilot mentoring session on January 18th in Texas. It is partnering with the Ann Richards School in Austin, Texas. This pilot mentoring session will be for the spring of 2017, and consists of 10 mentor-mentee pairs. The mentees are all middle schoolers: five eighth graders, four seventh graders and a sixth grader. Two out of the ten mentors for the Ann Richards mentees are located in Austin, thus offering face to face mentoring sessions. The remaining eight mentors are located outside Texas, and will be conducting remote mentoring sessions with their mentees using Google hangouts and/or Skype.

The mentees, school personnel, three of the mentors, and the MAGIC core team attended the event which was hosted at the Google offices in downtown Austin. Thank you to Google for sponsoring this event!