Uber Engineering Celebrates Take Your Kids to Work Day


In this article, Uber Seattle business partner and UberParents Employee Resource Group co-lead Amy Hooey shares highlights from Uber’s annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day celebration. Commonly referred to as Take Your Kids to Work Day by organizations in the United States, the event is an opportunity for the children of Uber parents to get a taste of what it’s like to work at a technology company like Uber.

 

On Thursday April 25, 2019,  Uber offices across the United States celebrated national Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, an event founded by the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation in an effort to highlight future job possibilities and the importance of an education. Hundreds of curious children joined their parents in Uber’s San Francisco, Palo Alto, Seattle, Boulder, New York City, and Pittsburgh offices to partake in STEM and adventure-themed activities. Children attended Camp Uber, participated in design and engineering contests, built model cars and planes, embarked on scavenger hunts, and much more.

Commonly referred to as Take Your Kids to Work Day by organizations in the United States, this annual event has been embraced by Uber as an opportunity to give our children an inside look at the working world through the perspective of our careers, and in the process, bond with other families at the company. Uber’s cultural value of “build globally, live locally,” extends beyond our day-to-day work; by participating in events like Take Your Kids to Work Day, we bring this enthusiasm to our own lives. While events differed across individual office, the planning process fostered a deep sense of community and collaboration among the volunteers and across the teams at each site.

 

Seattle

The UberParents-Seattle Employee Resource Group (ERG) and the Seattle Design team partnered to welcome children and their parents to Take Your Kids to Work Day. The energy and excitement in the office was infectious, and the agenda highlighted real-world work to interest children about careers in tech. Activities included an Uber Logo Design contest, a build your own app contest, a create-your-own Uber badge activity, a scavenger hunt, an Uber Facts trivia game, and an ocean-themed bounce house in the middle of the All Hands space—far and away the fan favorite. After BBQ sandwiches and macaroni and cheese for lunch, the day concluded with an ice cream cart and build-your-own sundae bar.

A create-your-own Uber badge station, build-your-own app contest, building blocks engineering, and face painting were among the many activities keeping kids and adults busy at the Seattle office.

 

New York City

During Take Your Kids to Work Day, the New York City office was home curious-minded children onsite to explore the office, take part in building toy cars and planes for our Rides and Elevate businesses, and work together on the STEM Gumdrop Statue challenge to build the tallest statue possible with toothpicks and gumdrops, encouraging problem solving and design skills. At the Uber Eats table, our visitors created personalized aprons and baking hats, while others reflected on what they want to be when they grow up at the photo wall nearby. 

Visitors to the NYC office included a future pilot, forest ranger, dancer, race car driver, and veterinarian. We even met nine-month-old future president Olivia Chang.

 

San Francisco

Families from across company headquarters attended Camp Uber, the theme of San Francisco’s third annual Take Your Kids to Work Day celebration. Highlights included a faux campfire complete with a drum circle, tents filled with balls, indoor toy archery sets, and countless crafts. Each child received a custom-made Camp Uber bandana, head lamp, and as many gummy worms as they wished.

Indoor adventures at Camp Uber in San Francisco included target practice with toy bows and suction cup arrows, feeling the rhythm at the drum circle, and fishing for gummy worms.

 

Palo Alto

Take Your Kids to Work Day in Palo Alto—the site’s first—extended our SF office’s camp-themed event. Highlights included a bounce house with slide, potting station for making plant party favors, and a passport program to collect stamps in our organized one-minute games, such as the penny stack (kids had 60 seconds to stack the tallest penny tower possible) and the crowd favorite cookie challenge (maneuvering a cookie from forehead to mouth using facial movements and no hands). A building blocks area got plenty of attention, too, and lots of enthusiasm from some of our future engineers.

Palo Alto’s event mixed outdoor fun with a flower potting station and bounce house, with Camp Uber-themed indoor activities and one-minute game contests.

 

Boulder, Colorado

The Boulder office also celebrated children and parents to their Take Your Kids to Work Day event, where the kids learned about mapping concepts, JUMP scooters, and autonomous vehicles. A scavenger hunt familiarized our visitors with the office, and the children engaged in STEM activities, such as the Spaghetti Tower Marshmallow Challenge, where they navigated the design process using only dry spaghetti noodles and marshmallows to build the tallest tower possible. During the popular egg drop engineering challenge, participants designed a contraption to protect an egg from a high fall using recyclable materials. Putty, building blocks, math games, and puzzle stations were available throughout the day, and we capped off the event with an ice cream social.

Marshmallows, dry spaghetti noodles, and eggs were the key ingredients for fun and STEM-based learning at the Boulder office.

 

Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG)

Kids at the Uber ATG offices in Pittsburgh and San Francisco had the opportunity to participate in STEM-themed activities such as building a marshmallow catapult, creating stop motion videos, and making magnetic slime. They also learned about how Uber ATG develops autonomous vehicles during a presentation with Eric Meyhofer, Head of ATG, and a Q&A with the kids where he answered various questions like: “how fast do the self-driving vehicles go?” and “how many pictures does a self-driving car take in four seconds?”

The day ended with a visit from one of the robotic mannequins (roamers) that are used as stand-ins for pedestrians at our test track. The kids enjoyed seeing the roamers in action and getting up close and personal with the technology their parents build.

Future engineers stopped by the ATG offices in Pittsburgh and San Francisco to learn about autonomous vehicles, how to create magnetic slime, and design the best catapult for marshmallows.

 

Acknowledgements

Alison Crawford, Ashley Frabasilio, David Richie, Faye Pang, Irina Dimitriu, Jovanka Balac, and Sheryl Weaver contributed to this article.

 



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