AUI held its first “Bring Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day” on April 26, 2018. Parents and children were greeted with an assortment of cereal, pastries and fruits to start the day in a way that many parents cannot. “It is nice to sit and have breakfast with the kids during the week”, said AUI Administrative Specialist, Bernice Montero, who brought her three daughters. “Usually we are out of the house so early, we can’t sit and eat together”.
The day was filled with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) activities that were as entertaining as they were educational. A parent/child painting activity started the day’s programming. “I really enjoyed painting with my kids” said Assistant Grants/Contracts Administrator, Shannon Wright, “I think I’m going to buy some supplies and paint more often at home.”
Learning stations throughout the office allowed parents to move from one activity to another with their child. Lego engineering stations were a popular attraction for both the children and the parents. The children conducted density experiments and made predictions on which objects float. They gained a sense of perspective while they created a scaled measurement of our solar system using only bathroom tissue and a marker. Many children received their first introduction to chemistry while making slime. “I enjoyed making the slime,” said Alicia Joyce-Barrera, daughter of Bernice Montero, “I could see becoming a chemist someday.”
Some of the most popular events were the “Science of Cotton Candy” and the “Edible Earth Activity” which required each child to recreate the geologic layers of Earth symbolized by edible products like Oreos, pudding, and chocolate rocks. On a healthier note, the “Grapefruit Saturn” activity gave the children an opportunity to construct a scale model of Saturn and its rings.
The day ended with fresh popped popcorn and the movies Big Hero Six and Hidden Figures. Luther Lau, AUI CFO, was excited to see the children participate in science based activities, alongside their parents. “It is important to stimulate minds at a young age especially in the field of science.” AUI’s mission is to make scientific breakthroughs possible; what better way than to start at home.