UTM hosts young scholars at annual 'Bring Our Children to Work Day'

a teacher points to a group of young students seated on the floor
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 4:37pm
Blake Eligh

Future scholars visited the U of T Mississauga campus on April 28 for “Bring Our Children to Work Day.” The popular annual event hosted children of staff and faculty for a fun-filled day of educational activities. Participants aged 9 to 12 accompanied their parents to work and participated in a variety of scheduled activities throughout the day, getting a kids-eye view of research and other activities happening across the campus.

Chemistry professor and vice-principal, special initiatives, Ulli Krull opened the day with an inspiring talk that encouraged the young scholars to seek the answers to big questions, such as “How did we get here?” Krull’s prop bag included an air cannon, hula hoops, a fossilized reptile skull, a conch shell and a tiny piece of rock from Mars that was recovered from a meteorite site in the Antarctic.

Assistant professor Marc Laflamme of the Department of Chemical and Physical Sciences provided practical advice on how one becomes a fossil and showed off a number of fossil specimens that can be found in the Mississauga area.

Students blew off steam with UTM athletics volunteers in the Recreation, Athletics and Wellness Centre, where they played badminton, dodgeball and Kin-Ball. Parents joined their children for lunch in the Faculty Club.

Associate professor of geography Yuhong He tested everyone’s knowledge with a game of Geography Jeopardy, followed by a demonstration of a tiny drone-mounted camera she uses for field work with the Remote Sensing and Spatial Ecosystem Modeling laboratory.

At the Institute for Management & Innovation, I-CUBE program coordinator and start-up coach Sam Dumcum introduced the children to entrepreneurship. In a crafty hands-on exercise, the group split into teams and designed products to solve a problem for their assigned superheroes. After designing a prototype, each group had one minute to sell their product in a mini Dragons' Den-style pitch session.

The day finished with a cookie baking workshop with Chartwell’s chef Sandeep Karchoo where the group made chocolate chip cookies from scratch for a take-home treat. Following the event, many children visited the offices and labs of their parents.

The annual tri-campus event is sponsored by U of T's HR & Equity Office, with additional support from UTM’s Office of the Vice-President & Principal and CAO and Chartwells.