Over thirty different presenters from around the Baldwin area turned out in uniform to show kindergartners through second-graders that they can be anything they want to be when they grow up. Students dressed up as their aspirational careers as they toured the town set up throughout and around the school.
"We wanted to expose all of our classes to at least three or four different careers," said school STEAM teacher Brittany Nichols, who organized the event with Community In Schools Coordinator Claire Brignor. This year, the entire school is committed to a heavy emphasis on STEAM, and Nichols wanted that to be reflected in the presenters.
"When I told one of the chemists I could never do what you do, he said, 'of course you can! You use chemistry every day. Every time you cook you're using chemistry'," Nichols said, "and that kind of real world application of STEAM is important for these kids to see."
Aerospace professors, physicist, chemists, helicopter pilots, sous-chefs, forest rangers, EMT teams, authors, real estate agents, x-ray technicians, and so many others all came out to rotate throughout the classrooms and provide 20-minute demonstrations of their professions. Outside, firetrucks, police cruisers, tow trucks, and other city service vehicles whirred, buzzed, and flashed lights for the kids while helicopters and drones did fly-overs. The kids were awed and inspired by their presenters.
When Legends Seafood & Grill sous-chef Jamarcus Hurt first asked Mrs. Cathryn Meighan's 2nd-Grade class if anyone there wanted to be a chef, nobody raised their hand. But after adorning the class with chef's hats and showing them how to make diced fruit mixes, the class began catch on. "I want to be a chef!" one of them said, followed by more and more in the class. Before he was finished, the entire class had decided that this was the career for them. Then, of course, the next presenter came in.