Ford Celebrates Bring Your Child to Work Day
Ford recently celebrated its 24th Bring Your Child to Work Day by inviting more than 230 children of its employees to participate in STEM-related activities at the Ford Research and Innovation Center.
The annual festivities were led by Sandy Volk, executive assistant to Henry Ford Technical Fellow and Director of Electrical and Electronics Systems Research and Advanced Engineering Jim Buczkowski, for a third straight year. Volk told Ford that the best part of the experience for him was “watching their faces and knowing they’re learning something, while still having a good time.”
Each of the 230 children were given Ford photo IDs and lanyards for their tour of the 21 different stations within the Research and Innovation Center. On their tour, they learned about everything from virtual reality and robotics to design and autonomous vehicle development from volunteers like Cynthia Flanigan, global manager for design and final assembly systems, who has participated in the event every year since 2000s and was a part of this year’s morning remarks.
“You feel the energy, you see the excitement from the children coming in, and I love hearing the questions they have,” said Flanigan. “They’re so bright, and it really challenges the way you think about things.”
“Kids see their parents going to work every day, but don’t really know what they do,” she added. “It’s great to have them see their parents leading the way in whatever technology might be their focus.”
Among the more popular activities was a crash safety demonstration where creations consisting of cardboard, masking tape, Syrofoam, and plastic cups were put to the (impact) test. This year’s top performers broke previous records for absorbed impact.
In another, interior systems and seating technical expert John Jaranson helped teach the kids about cartooning and two-point perspective drawing.
“My kids really enjoyed it,” said Jaranson. “It’s fun to see what they create when they come in, and it always surprises me how good some of them actually are.”