Join UNCW’s Youth Programs as we begin the New Year with an old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Turns out most kids like being asked this question especially IF the grownups doing the asking are genuinely interested in what they have to say AND are willing to help them explore the possibilities. There are lots of ways for you to support your child’s career aspirations.
You can take your son or daughter to work. You can provide them with computer simulation games. You can give them a chemistry kit and help with their science project. You can teach them how to cook or manage a bank account, sign them up to play sports or take dance lessons. Or, you can enroll them in afterschool programs or summer camp. UNCW provides a wide variety of career exploration opportunities for children and teens through its Pre-K through 12 academic enrichment programs. These programs have been developed with the support of faculty and staff who enjoy sharing their expertise with young people.
Each program is designed to help kids become familiar with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to be successful in a particular field or career. Some programs emphasize application of knowledge or skills that children acquire through school but don’t quite understand how to use the skill or its value. By applying skills and knowledge in a more authentic career-focused situation, kids experience just how useful these skills can be.
For example, take measurement—a skill every child learns in school but often does not appreciate until they can apply it in a meaningful context. Our Mind for Design Program encourages children to use the skills of a real designer. They draw their ideas, scale a pattern, measure for a prototype, calculate materials, generate a 3-D rendering and, if they have an entrepreneurial spirit, can conduct a market analysis and create a campaign to sell their final product. This is a wonderful program for would-be designers or entrepreneurs!
But, what if your child wants to be something else? UNCW offers a wide variety of programs to nurture their interests through career exploration—and to help your child measure her or his success.
Potential engineers can experience the thrill of flying in a vertical wind tunnel while measuring wind speed using the principles of Aerospace Engineering. Future oceanographers can discover the excitement of exploration while driving MarineQuest’s underwater remotely operated vehicle and calculating the depth of our coastal waters. Hopeful historians can feel the exhilaration of firing a real cannon while predicting the trajectory of its shot and reliving our region’s past with coastal warriors. Kids considering a career in chemistry put on their safety goggles to observe the importance of precise measurement in our highly combustive program, Compound Chaos. Even the youngest child can learn to appreciate measurement with our “reading comprehension through dramatic play” program, Literacy Live. Imagine recreating the Three Little Pigs houses to measure how strong a huff and puff is needed to blow them down!
Whatever your child’s interest, we welcome the opportunity to help them explore their future. As one of our career explorers put it, “I used to want to be Brittany Spears but now I think I’ll be a chemist!” We offer weekend programming during the school year and summer academic enrichment camps. To discover more, please visit UNCW Youth Programs on the web at www.uncw.edu/youth
UNCW Youth Programs
Director, Dr. Sue Kezios