SSC-Natick Press Release
U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Natick, MA 01760-5012
Contact: Chief, Public Affairs Office
Date: May 19, 2006
SSC's Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day 2006
NATICK, Mass. - The U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center's (SSC) Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Team hosted the 9th annual Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day on April 21. This event was held in conjunction with Earth Day and is chaired by Michelle Bonanca, Claudia Quigley and Janice Rosado.
The tour provided the children aged 9 to 14 with an opportunity to view firsthand their parents' work environment as well as SSC's numerous science and technology projects and laboratories. The tour is also part of WISE's mission to introduce young people, particularly girls, to science and engineering careers. The children also had the opportunity to participate in several Earth Day activities, including an animal show.
According to Rosado, "The mission of the WISE program is to reach out to young people and encourage them to pursue careers in science and engineering. In particular, the program hopes to address the fact that some studies have shown that girls, once they hit middle school, tend to either lose interest or lack confidence in math and science classes. We hope by introducing them to professionals, particularly professional women, and by providing them with hands-on experiences, we can build their confidence and spark their interest in science and engineering careers."
During one portion of the Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work tour, Leah Zuckerman of the Individual Protection Directorate's Chemical Technology Team, part of the Natick Soldier Center, showed the children chem-bio protective suits.
"Bring your Daughters and Sons to Work Day is a very beneficial program, not only for the kids participating, but also for everyone else involved. As a presenter, I had the opportunity to interact with the people we are striving to protect in the future. It makes my job and future purpose more real; more tangible. Plus, it also allowed me to show how what we do on this base is not only very important, but also fun. Essentially, this opportunity to present to the base's sons and daughters brings me back into focus as to why I am doing this in the first place," said Zuckerman.
Leah Wilson, age 10, daughter of Combat Feeding's Lisa Wilson, who attended the chem-bio protection demonstration said, "It was really cool trying on the clothes that the Soldiers have to wear when they are fighting in different places. We even got to try on the masks that protect them from breathing bad air."
Children enjoyed other portions of the tour as well.
"I learned that there were lots of sheep, turkeys, cows, and a few other animals in Iran. What surprised me the most was that turkeys live there. I had thought that turkeys couldn't stand the heat there. I mostly liked seeing the animals. I thought that was super cool! I liked the ring-tailed lemur and two others the most," said Josie MacDonald, daughter of Mary MacDonald, annex supervisor for the Natick Post Exchange.
Sophia and Sadie Haddad, the daughters of Sgt. 1st Class Rick Haddad, who works in the Operational Forces Interface Group, enjoyed their day at the Soldier Systems Center.
Sophia Haddad, age 12, said, "I enjoyed watching the animal show and seeing the bear cat.
I also had fun looking at the parachute material and ways to make it. I also enjoyed trying the food in the sensory test. I learned where the tongue senses the flavors, that is important for when I am a chef when I am older. I had fun seeing my dad's work. I also loved eating at the food court, it was fun."
Sadie Haddad, age 9, said, "I liked the animal show and feeding the lemur. I also learned about metabolism and parachutes. I tried on the parachute pack and it was so heavy. I might want to be an airborne parachute jumper when I am older if I am not a singer. I think they should do it again next year. I had an awesome time."
Parents praised the program as well.
"I just wanted to thank all of you for the great work you did on Friday. I have two daughters, age 12 and 9, who went on the tours of the lab. They both had a great time--particularly the 9-year-old as this was the first time she was able to do the group tours. My four-year-old daughter also enjoyed the day. She took part in the earth day festivities. She is looking forward to the day when she can go around and tour the labs. Thanks again for the tremendous amount of work and effort you put into this program every year. I think you can tell by the smiles on the kids faces and the response you continue to get every year that the kids really enjoy coming to work with their parents for the day and especially enjoy the opportunity to interact a little bit with the Soldiers," said Margaret Auerbach of the Engineering, Prototype and Performance Evaluation Team, Individual Protection Directorate.
Rosado expressed her appreciation for the time and effort put in by the many volunteers who supported this year's event. She said that their efforts are key to making the day a success.
In response to one of the children's comments, Rosado said, "And yes, Sadie, there will be a Bring Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day next April. In fact, we are looking forward to putting together a special program to mark our 10th anniversary."
For more information about the Soldier Systems Center, please visit our website at: http://www.natick.army.mil.