Nearly 200 children of UH employees participated in the University’s inaugural Take Your Child to Work Day held in June.
NSM was one of five colleges hosting activities for the children ages 8-13. Families pre-registered for their child’s choice of the five activities. NSM’s event was the first to reach the 40-child capacity.
“Kids were accompanied by their parents, so we not only had an opportunity to interest future NSM students, but also show our colleagues some of the great work within the College,” said Zach Moore, NSM’s program coordinator for student success.
“We understand the importance of capturing the interest in math and science for future generations. The departments provided engaging ways to really get the kids excited about STEM; it was awesome to be a part of that.”
During the three-hour event, the children participated in activities organized by faculty, staff and students from NSM’s Departments of Computer Science, Chemistry and Physics, as well as the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH.
“My son, Elijah, absolutely loved all of the interactive demonstrations by the departments,” said Melissa Lowrey, a 10-year UH employee and NSM’s program director for graduate studies. “The CodeRED group really inspired him, and now he plans to join the Coding Club at his school next year.”
The American Chemical Society Student Chapter provided demonstrations on chemical reactions, and the Department of Computer Science offered numerous hands-on opportunities related to virtual reality and augmented-reality games. During the physics demos, students learned about superconductivity, electrical circuits and conservation of angular momentum.
“Outreach to the community is very important to the Department of Physics faculty. It allows us to give back to the community and expose students to activities which may encourage them to become future physicists,” said Donna Stokes, physics associate professor and undergraduate academic advisor. “These efforts also help break the stereotypes about scientists and encourage all students, particularly underrepresented minorities and girls, to participate in physics activities.
Other colleges participating in the event were Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts, C. T. Bauer College of Business and UH Libraries.
The event was coordinated by UH Staff Council. Plans for next year are under way with goals of widening the age range for children, increasing the number of children allowed to participate, and involving additional UH colleges.
Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics