It may be summer break for most children, but New College Institute (NCI) took the opportunity to invite their own school-age children to “work” at NCI for half a day. As part of NCI’s Bring a Kid to Work Day, employees of NCI were invited to bring their children, grandchildren, or other family members in grades K-12 to learn more about NCI’s operations and the educational opportunities available.
“My daughter (Tempi) has been so excited about this day. She has been talking about it all week. By bringing her to work with me, I was able to show her tasks that I do on my computer, what emails look like, and just a little bit about what I do each day at work,” said Christina Reed, Assistant Director of Finance & Operations.
In addition to learning about the tasks their family member does day-to-day, NCI staff facilitated several learning opportunities in NCI’s Fayette Lab centered around chemistry, life science, technology, and systems engineering. Children learned about the bonding properties of polymers while making slime, operated 3D printers, designed 3D parts, and completed online racing simulations. The kids who were participating enjoyed the various activities, especially seeing all of the high-tech equipment. “All of the technology we used at NCI was incredible,” shared Heath Russell, son of NCI Executive Director, Dr. Leanna Blevins.
“My favorite part was learning more about the MakerBots and 3D printing,” said Amari Thomas, grandson of Security Supervisor, Marshall Thomas.
“I liked getting to meet all of the people at NCI and seeing my mommy’s office. It was the greatest day of my entire life,” said Audrey McGhee, daughter of Finance & Operations Analyst, Mandy McGhee.
On-the-job experiences are critical as children consider their future career goals and it is a great opportunity to learn and practice firsthand soft skills in the workplace.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to introduce my family to my work family at NCI. My grandsons (Darien, Javien, and Amari) had a lot of fun with the activities, and they were also able to see the place I work and spend time when I am away from them,” said Marshall Thomas.
“My niece, Nancy Bhattacharya, is visiting from Los Angeles. It was very special for her to see the place where I work as she spends her summer with family here in Virginia. She had a great time,” said Sammy Redd, Coordinator of Student Success.
In addition to learning about NCI and STEM, Dr. Blevins reinforced the concept of higher education to the children. She reminded them that at NCI we believe that higher education creates opportunities, that all people matter and contribute to the efforts of the team, and that hard work pays off.