“What made you want to get into your current career? How much do you earn in your current career? How many years of schooling did you need? What tools to you use every day?” were among the questions asked by the students at Columbia Park Elementary School’s Career Day.
On May 29, 2015, Columbia Park Elementary School held its annual Career Day where local professionals from a variety of industries visited the school to talk about their career and what how they got there. The day started at 8:30 am, and went until 1:30 pm, during which speakers visited classrooms spanning from Kindergarten to the Sixth Grade.
“Who has seen the Avengers Age of Ultron? Both me and my brother faithfully read comic books at an early age, and one of the things I love most about the Marvel movies is that they are heavily based upon science. While the stories are make believe, there is usually a lot of science into the stories.” With my background being in Pharmacology, my discussion with the students revolved around science. Marvel’s movies the Avengers Age of Ultron and the upcoming Fantastic Four remake were used to open my discussion.
The discussion about comics books (two of which were in my backpack that day), was also used to emphasize the importance of reading. The students were asked to think about how Captain America, the Hulk and Iron Man related back to the sciences of; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. What followed was a comparison and contrast of my past heroes such as Michael Jordan, to my current heroes who include Astronaut Michael Anderson, a Physicist who died on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-107 Mission, and Chemistry Pioneer Percy Julian.
“At my job, we look at data where rodents such as this, is exposed to pesticides such as Raid and then try to predict the potential human health risks. We can do this because other mammalian species have similar organs and systems to humans.” My discussion ended with an explanation of my current career in Pesticide Regulation using a Human Torso and Animal Cell models, a toy Rodent and a can of Raid.
“Beyond my knowledge of science, People Skills are very important in my career including; the abilities to communicate and resolve conflicts, and also having lots of integrity. Integrity deals with trust, honesty and reliability. When you’re working in teams on projects with others, they have to be able to trust that you’re going to do what you say when you say that you’re going to do it,” was my response to the question about the skills necessary for my career and he hardest parts of my career.
“We’ve gotten so many more volunteers than we anticipated this year,” said Ms. Christine Pinto who organizes the event every year. Other professionals who visited the school were:
• Law Enforcement Officers
• Social Service Workers
• Federal Aviation Administration Workers
• Financial Managers
• Metro Workers
• Academic Professors
• Food and Drug Administration Workers
• And Healthcare Professionals
Lastly there was representation from one of Washington DC’s top radio stations; 93.9 WKYS-FM. Multimedia Broadcaster Brittany Waters from the Russ Parr Morning Show also visited the school to discuss her career path and talk to the students about working on the radio and in media. She also brought gifts from the station for the students.
In closing Career Days such as those at Columbia Park Elementary School are lots of fun, and they’re very important as well. Students can to ask questions about careers they may be dreaming of pursuing. They may also be inspired to pursue careers that they never considered due to lack of exposure in their communities. In short they potentially spark dreams and create possibilities in the lives of future generations.