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Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day a success

BUSINESS PLAN: Children made decisions in starting up a small business, a lemonade stand, as one of the activities for Take Your Daughers and Sons to Work Day. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

by Mary Ann Gratton

The sounds of young voices – younger than usual for a university campus – echoed through the hallways at the University of Toronto Scarborough recently, when 31 children came to the campus for Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

The children, ranging in age from 8 to 12, were at the campus on April 23 to take part in a variety of activities and hands-on demonstrations. They started off with some job shadowing, met with Principal Franco Vaccarino, and then toured a variety of sites on campus to learn more about U of T Scarborough and university life. Click here for more photos.

“The day was a great success,” said Marilyn Kwan, a member of the organizing committee. “The children learned a lot of new things about what happens at a university, and most of the sessions were very interactive, so they got to participate in hands-on activities and they said that they really enjoyed themselves.”

Many of the young participants had a hard time choosing which was their favorite stop on the tour. They went to the Doris McCarthy Gallery and met with Director/Curator Ann MacDonald and Curatorial Assistant Erin Peck, who displayed and discussed the current art exhibition, Meeting Point, which brings together major works by high-profile Canadian and international artists. The exhibition presents artwork that uses ordinary objects – many of which appear often in pairs and are made by dual collaborators – to imply different types of relationships between two people – intimacy, love, friendship, disagreement and competition, for example.

Another venue was the Academic Advising & Career Centre, where they children explored the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Staff members Marg Lacy, Liz Annis and Mariam Aslam, led the groups in some fun games that got the children thinking about what types of jobs they might like to do when they are adults.

Following a hearty pizza lunch with their parents, the children then proceeded to afternoon activities. In the Management Building, they were given a business challenge on the topic of Business Decisions for a Lemonade Stand. This session was led by Professor Chris Bovaird and Program Advisor Shehna Javeed. The children formed small groups to set up and make decisions to organize their “small business” – a lemonade stand. They had to make choices about the name of the business, develop advertising posters and come up with strategies to attract customers, the cost of their supplies and the price of their end products and how those would affect their profit margins. Then they got a “taste test” of their lemonade at the end.

The chemistry lab proved to be a hit with many of the children. They learned about the properties of plastic along with the physical properties of various materials. They learned about chemical reactions through a variety of eye-catching and colourful demonstrations. Making slime/gak and ice cream made from liquid nitrogen were among the children’s favorite hands-on activities in the lab. These activities were led by: Lecturer Lana Mikhaylichenko, Professor Kagan Kerman, Senior Lecturer Lin Tao and Research student Vladimir Douin.

Finally, the gym provided a venue where the children could expend some energy following all of the day’s learning. They did various activities that enabled them to move, jump and let off steam. At the end of the day, they were all given gift bags containing a variety of useful items and souvenirs from the day.

Many of them said loved all the activities and couldn’t wait until next year to come back to the University of Toronto Scarborough.

© University of Toronto Scarborough