Said Pablo Picasso and such is the case where I work. We dream up pie in the sky ideas and work hard to make them real. Every day is different, every project unique, and every achievement immensely satisfying. Computer science is one of the most exciting and dynamic fields today. It is at the epicenter of our economic output since everything and everyone uses computers. Chemists, biologists, physicists and even quantitate financial analysts need to know computer science. The hour of code is a hugely successful effort to bring computer science and programming to tens of millions of school aged children.
The United States is not able to produce enough computer scientists to satisfy its growing demand and it is everyone’s duty to inspire children to choose professions in one of the many STEM fields. In doing my part, and also because I am always excited to share an experience with my nephew, I took Alex to my company’s take your child to work day. The event, dubbed a Tech Expo was geared toward children aged 10 and up. The bring your child to work day did not include shadow time. Instead, children were whisked upstairs to a series of cool demos and talks about what the current state of the art is that we (myself and the people I work with) are working on, and what lies in the frontier. Demos included 3-D printing technologies, programming with raspberry pi, the bleeding edge in electromagnetic research, and renewable energy. The sessions were hands on and the children had a chance to try all of the technologies for themselves.
I am a firm believer that learning does not always take place inside a classroom while reading a textbook. My nephew missed a day of school but I am certain that he learned much more that morning at the Tech Expo. He learned that research and failure go hand in hand, that you can dream big, work hard, and persevere. He wasn’t the only one learning. I learned that there are few greater pleasures in life than seeing young minds churning with creative ideas and thoughts. I couldn’t have asked for a better day and a better companion. Oh, and of course, he had time with his cousins as well… and some ice cream. It is summer, after all.