Kids Have Fun, Learn at CSE’s Take Your Child to Work Day

With thirteen stations for kids to visit, there was plenty of learning and not a dull moment.
Game Development course designer and instructor Austin Yarger orients a visitor who’s catching onto a new digital experience.

As every kid knows, the place where their parent works is probably – and secretly – really fun. That’s why their parents go there every day! Last week, this was confirmed for the children of faculty, staff, and students at CSE when they spent a portion of April 27 in the Bob and Betty Beyster Building, learning what their parents do at such a cool place.

This visit was thanks to CSE’s Take Your Child to Work Day, which consisted of an open house and self-guided tour for children and their parents affiliated with CSE. Take Your Child to Work Day is an annual, nationwide event that is traditionally observed on the fourth Thursday of April.

Organized by a team led by Diane Crang and including Kim Clark, Jamie Goldsmith, Zach Champion, and Steve Crang, and supported by a number of graduate student and staff volunteers, CSE’s event allowed visitors to explore at stations around the Beyster Building, which included:

  • A check-in station, where visitors made name tags, got goodie bags, and entered for a drawing
  • A visit to Prof. Joyce Chai’s robot lab, which featured Tiago, a robot that responds to voice commands
  • A trip to DCO, to learn about the parts of computers and to play Tetris and a classic Super Mario Brothers game
  • A maker station, to build a working paper circuit or make a fluffy caterpillar
  • A Theremin station, to learn how touchless musical synthesizers work and try them out
  • A gaming station, at which faculty member Austin Yarger hosted students to play classic arcade games and PC games built in his game design course
  • A computing lab station, where a fairy door is hidden
  • An ENIAC station, where one of the first general purpose computing machines is displayed
  • A grad student station, where students talked about what their day is like, and a parent’s office station, to see where parents work
  • Indoor and outdoor activity stations with coloring and drawing, hula hoops, giant checkers, and other games
  • And, a pizza and salad station, with plenty of good food for lunch!

Parents who attended with their children raved about the event’s impact. Feedback included:

“THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the fun you prepared for our kids today. My girls loved it!

I really appreciate all your work and efforts. It was great fun! Thank you!”

“My two kids had a lot of fun – so thank you all for making this happen. Now my kids think we have this much fun every day at work.”

“We had a great time as well- thank you for all the work you put into preparing a spectacularly fun day! As my 9-year-old said “none of the stations were boring”, which I’d say is pretty high praise from that age group.”

CSE’s Take Your Child to Work Day organizer, Diane Crang, said: “The organizing committee loves putting this event together every year; we try to make the day interesting, as well as educational. It’s just a ton of fun, and we really enjoy families sharing their kids with us for a few hours.” 

Next year’s CSE event will take place on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Parents, mark your calendars!