Get inspired by these company programs that include hands-on experiments, on-camera news story reporting and even going behind-the-scenes at the highest level of government. So cool!
Put Those Kids to Work!
April 23 is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, the annual event that aims to show kids what goes on at Mommy's and Daddy's job. Across the globe, kids will take a day off from school and head to the office with their parents. While any planned activities are a plus, some companies go above and beyond. Here are six workplaces that pull out the stops for the big day.
Note: As President Obama points out, more and more companies are opening their Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day programs to participants outside the children of employees. You might want to reach out to these companies and see if your child is eligible to tag along next year.
The White House
Many kids—and adults—would love to see what goes on behind the scenes at the White House, but the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day program was only available to House staffers—until this year. As part of its tenth year with the program, the White House is working with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, the DC Child and Family Services Agency, the White House Council on Women and Girls and the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to open the program to DC kids who might not otherwise be able to go to work with a parent. That’s because the Commander-in-Chief knows the value of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. “By the end of the day, kids have a better understanding of the responsibilities involved in a job and career,” President Obama said in a video about expanding the program. “They might even have a new idea of what they want to be when they grow up.” The president wants to ensure that foster kids, kids who may be at higher risk of dropping out of school or kids who may not have a parent with a job that allows them to bring their children to work can still participate in the day (whitehouse.gov).
We expect a lot from our Working Mother 100 Best Companies, and AOL certainly delivers when it comes to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Kids attend a day of activities that vary by age. (Even babies and toddlers, from infant to age 4, can come to work for storytelling, music and arts and crafts.) Younger kids can learn the art of putting together a good story from the folks at The Huffington Post, partake in an on-camera tutorial from HuffPost Live, or do an activity like making birthday cards for the elderly or packages for homeless shelters. High schoolers can take introduction courses in coding or social media, attend a seminar about what it’s like to be a woman in the tech industry, learn how to craft a product pitch with the sales team, and even attend mini-mock interviews with HR so they can get a jump on attaining a job in their chosen fields. And, since everyone loves pets, all age groups recombine at the end of the day for a presentation with David Frei of the Westminster Dog Show (corp.aol.com). Can we go, too?
At this strategic communications firm, the kids are really put to work. They’ll have to collaborate to come up with an idea for their own original toy—then create a communications plan around it, including a logo. They’ll also learn about their own personal brands, and how their social media activity is a part of that brand (which will hopefully make them a bit more careful about what they post online). After all that brainstorming, the fun begins. After lunch, kids and parents can take a trip to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, then head back to the office for a company-wide ice cream social, where they can enjoy the fruits of that morning’s labor on display (powelltate.com).
For its Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day program, NBC has kids taking over the famed Saturday Night Live studio. And if being in the house that made Wayne’s World and Will Ferrell isn’t enough of a thrill on its own, the participants can get on-air time at one of a few different “stations.” At the field reporting station, for example, kids will have the chance to write a story together, then take turns reading it on camera. The different stations will cover both news and entertainment, so make sure your kids are ready for their close-up (nbc.com).
A child interested in STEM will want to get her hands on the equipment at Pfizer’s labs—and Pfizer will let her. After a morning safety presentation, icebreaking activity and video about vaccines, participants will rotate through four hands-on activities: a filtration experiment; quality control chemistry and micro-experiments; a demonstration of engineering tools such as the IR camera, ultrasonic gun and boroscope; and a game that teaches the importance of continuous improvement. As if that's not enough, kids will get a little hands-on fire extinguisher training before they leave, always important for a budding scientist to know (pfizer.com).
This medical technology company will transform its 530,000-square-foot campus into a Big Top for a circus-themed Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Kids can step right up to the ringmaster and identify where bone implants go in circus animals like elephants and horses and tigers (oh my!), or they can go through a tightwire obstacle course that will teach kids the importance of communication, collaboration, commitment and celebration. They’ll also get their moment in the spotlight at the Stryker TV studio, where they’ll make a short video for their parents that will require script writing, teleprompter use, acting and art direction. Stryker is no stranger to out-there themes for the day: Its previous Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day programs had themes like Medieval Times and Candyland (stryker.com).