Cisco Take Our Children to Work Day Lets Children Explore the Possibilities
June 23, 2005
By Terry Timm Moos, News@Cisco
It's not just a typical day at the office. In fact, the energy and noise levels at Cisco Systems today are quite a bit higher than usual. So…what's up?
It's the 11th annual Cisco Take Our Children to Work day, which provides the young sons and daughters of Cisco employees with a firsthand look at the their parents' work world. From 8 am to 4 pm, children ranging in age from 9 to 15 years old will experience an actual day at the office. But it won't be typical.
The Take Our Children to Work event helps young people understand more about the business of Cisco Systems, not just in engineering and technology areas, but also the company's role in the community.
"Today's generation is growing up with the Internet, which makes them very interested in its power and the possibilities that are available due to Internet technology," said John Chambers, President and CEO of Cisco Systems. "If we can inspire a child to strive to reach his or her highest potential, then we know we are doing the right things."
Inspiration and adventure from 'higher ups'
Special Cisco speakers are scheduled in the morning, including a Q&A session with Chambers and an overview from Kate DCamp, Senior Vice President of Human Resources.
A special guest speaker at this year's event is Ed Viesturs, who, in May, became the first American to climb all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter peaks. Cisco Systems is proud to be the official supplier of the networking and communications infrastructure supporting his climbing endeavors. Ed's talk, 'Seeking High Places,' will focus on his recent experiences climbing Annapurna in Nepal, and the role the Internet plays in his adventures. As a keepsake, children can opt to have photos taken with Ed, in a digital studio set up to replicate the highest peaks.
Cisco tours, Internet games, and a 1:1 with mom and dad
During the day, children can take campus tours, including the Approvals Engineering Center, where Cisco products are tested; the Commercial Solutions Showcase, where they can see how the products work; the Advanced Cable Lab, where they will learn where cable TV really comes from; and the CiscoTV Broadcast Studios, where they can practice an on-camera interview.
Cisco has also planned games that focus on the Internet. Penny Packet is a game filled with cartoon animation and fun music. Players are in control of Penny as she searches the Internet for cool careers in technology, dodges hackers in space, hops through multiple networks, and swims in a data stream full of electro-magnetic eels. Children will be able to help Penny carry the data packets to their destination, and learn about careers in technology.
The Human Internet Game is designed to teach young children about how the Internet works in an interactive way. Students will play the roles of routers, switches, and packets, all of which make up parts of the Internet. A new feature introduces kids to QoS (Quality of Service), and in-order delivery.
Another activity is called Career Capture, which is a place where the children can learn about technology and careers from women in the industry. There will also be 1:1 time available so parents, guardians or employee volunteers can share their own work experiences with interested children.
Mentoring Santa Clara elementary students
Among the special guests joining in this year's activities are 20 young students from Kathryn Hughes Elementary School of Santa Clara. These 4th and 5th graders will be hosted by Cisco employee mentors during the day to give them the opportunity to see how the skills they're learning in school are applied to the working world, expose them to the world of high technology, and also let them know that there are many different types of jobs available at Cisco.
Integrating work and family is all in a day's work
When parents and children participate together, there is a sense of community and an atmosphere that fosters education. "Cisco encourages employees to integrate work and family, and this event is a tremendous opportunity for children to learn about their parent's workplace experiences," noted Kate DCamp. "Children can see how the work done by their parents helps bring technology to the rest of the world, and how that makes a positive difference."
The company traditionally holds the Cisco Take Our Children to Work day separately from the nationally-established Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work day, to avoid conflicts with school testing and end of quarter activities. Over 1,000 children are expected to attend the 2005 event on June 23.
Terry Timm Moos is a freelance journalist located in Seattle, WA.
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