If your kids are like mine, they randomly get concerned with what they are going to be when they grow up. It is like they think the movie/book Divergent is real and there will be a day where they cut themselves and decide. Luckily, there are opportunities to explore along the way. We attended a career fair at Flagstaff tonight. Volunteers, parents, and community business were invited to set up shop and educate the kids and maybe teach them something about the profession. I would enjoy doing it but figured a bunch of kids watching me code isn’t quite as cool as it is in my head. So I passed and figured we would see what everybody else had to offer.
First stop was the local police department. Pretty standard stuff for a career fair but you gotta have the civil servants involved. The kids always enjoy doing that stuff anyway. Tonight they got to fingerprint. Reagan decided that this was cool and wants to be a cop now. Ask her again tomorrow.
Next stop was Xilinux, makers of various circuit board products. They have a nice campus right near school. They had built a neat little display where they were capturing live video of the kids using a pen to draw in the air. It was broadcast on a projector but the pen was converted into a overlay paint program. Showing the manipulation of video through componentry and software. You had me there. That was the kind of thing I was into. And still am. Sydney kept searching.
Then we went to the Seagate booth, makers of disk drives and such. They were actually demoing a bunch of robotics which were pretty neat. They had programmed this machine to build various formations of these discs. Showing how the robot was active and could address correction issues in progress. Neat stuff.
The school has a robotics team/group that builds stuff and competes. Sydney got to drive around their latest invention. The kids in the club explained all about the competition to me. It was cool. They get specs on what the competition will involve. This one was stacking these 2 particular object shapes. Then they build a robot that can perform that task quickly and efficiently. They get judged on time and other factors. I told Sydney she needs to join that club next year. But she is doing robotics right now in her tech class and she is learning some of this already. Her tech teacher was there and came over and told me all about how Sydney is amazing. I took full credit. Pretty cool to hear that about your kid.
We made a stop by the DJ booth where the guy was showing off his mixer equipment. Its all computerized so why not. Pretty sophisticated stuff these days. Kids were having fun messing with the knobs and seeing what it all did.
But the best stop of the night for Sydney was at the neurosurgery booth. Eh? Yep, these two neurosurgenons were there with slideshow explaining what they do. They had slides of case studies with cool x-rays, MRIs, and photos. He walked you through a few cases like a lady that needed a tumor removed from within her spinal cord. Another was a brain tumor that he had to extract. He explained how they hook the patients up to machines to monitor all their bio-electric feedback. So they know if they are cutting the right stuff the right way. Amazing stuff. Apparently, their practice in Boulder is world famous. People come here to learn technique and train. They had surgeons in from Ecuador today learning from them. The bad news was that you have to go to college, then med school, then 7 years of residency. That’s a lot of time. But the average starting salary is $465K.
So Sydney left there thinking that is what she needs to be doing in her life. Let’s see if it sticks. The surgeon’s only advice to the kids — learn everything you can. Enjoy learning. Then being a doctor doesn’t take luck, just a bit of hard work and a lot of learning.
Thanks to Flagstaff for the event. I like seeing kids get exposed to and think practically about careers early in life.