Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Every child dreams of what they want to be when they grow up.
The answers usually fall include a doctor, firefighter, nurse, or even President of the United States.
A fun day for every child though, is to go to work for a day with mom and dad.
The people at DuPont realize the importance of the family and made that fun day a reality for some DuPont associates’ offspring.
Fifteen local students came out for this year’s Take Your Daughter/Son to Work Day at the DuPont Cooper River Plant in Moncks Corner.
The children toured the Hytrel and Kevlar facilities and received some hands-on instruction from DuPont employees.
Kids toured labs, the control room, and learned how the rail system delivers ingredients for the materials made on site and then carries products all over the U.S. and eventually the world.
Plant Manager Jerry Good called the day a win/win for the students and the DuPont employees.
“The day was a great success from the students’ viewpoint but even more rewarding from our employees’ perspective,” said Good. “The day allowed the employees’ children to experience what their mom or dad does at work and get some hands-on experience with engineering, robotics, chemistry and science. They quickly realized it’s no boring day at the office.”
Good said the kids were excited when they saw the Trackmobile, a 100-ton smaller train engine used to move railcars on the DuPont site.
“A son of one of the employees said, ‘My dad gets to drive that? Cool!’ It gave us a chance to showcase the site and talk about possible career paths to the people we care about the most, our children.”
The driving simulator was also a big hit with all the students as it showed them how dangerous texting can be and the results of distracted driving.
Another favorite was the introduction to robotics with a real-life R2D2 for the Star Wars fans.
The lab activities helped the kids understand engineering and science and its use in the plant and manufacturing overall. They conducted experiments where employees videotaped a balloon being popped at high speed to teach the concept of deflation.
Experiments continued with the kids learning about polymer cross-linking – by mixing Elmer’s glue with Borax.
“The resulting mixture turned into a rubbery ball much like Silly Putty helping them to understand the molecular changes,” said Lyle Blevins, DPS site lead for DuPont.
The kids then learned about polymer structure and properties by inserting a toothpick through the wall of an inflated balloon without popping or deflating the balloon.
The day turned out to be as much fun for the parents as it did the children.
“Employees enjoyed the opportunity to open up their labs and work spaces to help the children understand what goes on in a manufacturing plant and the science and concepts that are the foundation of our work,” Blevins said.
At the end of the day, the Cooper River employees were left wondering how they’d be able to top this next year.
“The students left with a new appreciation of what mom and dad do at work every day,” Blevins said.