Children of DuPont Employees Participate in Annual “Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day”
They put on personal protective equipment, climbed aboard a fire truck and took part in an experiment to make a cup of “slime.” Children of DuPont employees at the Belle, W.Va. (U.S.), plant did all that and more during a recent “Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day” event.
“This was a great opportunity for these kids to spend a day in our facility to learn about why education is so important,” said Matt Hildebrand, a project engineer, who helped coordinate the day’s activities. “We exposed them to a variety of on-site experiences that helped them understand what the working world is all about, particularly as it relates to the practical applications of science and math.”
The day began with the kids participating in a safety orientation similar to the one presented to all visitors to the plant. They received safety glasses and watched a safety video. An added feature to their orientation was a discussion about why safety is important in everything that happens at a DuPont manufacturing plant.
Ngor Deng, a process manufacturing/technology engineer at the plant and also one of the former Lost Boys of Sudan, gave a brief presentation to the kids about his difficult story. He also told them they can accomplish anything if they are willing to work hard and not give up.
“Ngor has an amazing story about overcoming the odds. It’s a story that gives kids hope that they can achieve great things no matter what their circumstances,” said Matt.
Following the presentation and discussion, the kids were split into five groups, based on age, and led by chaperones to different activities across the site. The activities were organized by plant employees and focused on making science real for the kids.
First, the kids took a bus tour to learn about the plant’s manufacturing processes and the products made in each production unit. Fun facts, such as the heights and sizes of the equipment, were discussed during the tour. The kids also were able to see which production units their parents worked in.
Other highlights included:
- Visiting the plant firehouse where they learned about and even tried on the various kinds of personal protective equipment (PPE) used in emergency situations. “They also got the chance to climb aboard a fire truck and honk the horn,” Matt said.
- Going to the control lab, where several lab analysts helped them conduct a chemistry experiment to make a cup of slime.
- Conducting an experiment about the importance of eye safety. The kids had to try to shoot a small basketball through a basket while wearing different types of glasses, demonstrating the effect vision impaired illnesses can have.
Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day is a national program that’s been held annually for 19 years. The program is designed to offer kids the chance to take a day off from school and accompany a parent to their workplace to see what the working world is all about.