Chicago — On April 27, 2017, Milhouse headquarters was subjected to a new force of leadership as the office hosted protégés from households across the city. Twenty children, between the ages of five and 16 years old, invaded the Milhouse office for the annual Bring Your Child to Work Day! Milhouse provided the children with experiences to give them a glimpse into their parents’, uncles’, aunts’, or guardians’ average work day.
In addition to breakfast, embarking on an office-wide tour, and enjoying lunch while decorating cookies, the children took part in various interactive activities. Each activity was associated with creating a vision of potential future careers, insight to what Milhouse offers as a professional services firm, and engineer-geared workshops.
The children heard from Milhouse experts from each department and learned about various professions at Milhouse. For example, Bob Smith’s, Director of Power, and James Fifer’s, Director of Project Development, daughters heard more about what their dad’s jobs entail as each of them presented to the group.
The kids also engaged in various activities to prepare them for the workforce and indulged in engineering-geared projects. First they completed and designed their own personal resume, with head shots included. The second activity involved lessons in accounting and economic empowerment, in which each child exchanged their hard-earned Milhouse Bucks for candy.
And finally they focused on completing different engineering tasks. The youngest group, five and six year olds, built architectural sculptures with candy Dots and toothpicks. The eight to 10 year olds built mechanical fixtures with Legos; and the 11 to 16 year olds engineered bridges with popsicle sticks, rope and duct tape.
The entire group was also treated to a demonstration by Luke Bolzenius a Senior Civil Engineer, of how to civil engineers treat contaminated water by combining gravity filtration and chemical treatment. Bolzenius shared that by “using gravel, course sand, fine sand, and a coffee filter the experiment showed how impurities are pulled from dirty water as it’s filtered down through the bottle. Following the large particle separation the kids helped stir alum into the water, adding the air needed to activate the chemical reaction that caused the clumping of the remaining dirt particles and dragging them to the bottom of the bottle.” Water quality treatment is just one of the areas of civil design shared with the group.