May 22, 2012
Public Affairs Office
HANOVER, N.H. – In early April each year, more than 170 businesses and organizations in the Upper Connecticut River Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont, like the ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), allow students in to learn more about the types of positions they offer. This event provides students an opportunity to gain insight on careers they may not have been exposed to.
Recently, CRREL hosted 14 eighth-grade students from local middle schools for a job shadow day. During their visit, the students were given a glimpse of a day in the life of a government researcher, as well as some hands-on training.
Dr. Justin Berman, chief of the Research and Engineering Division, provided a welcome and CRREL overview. He shared his training and job experience, as well as a secret to success. “You get only one chance to make a first impression, so be a little early and dress appropriately,” he told the group.
Students were then escorted to researcher- and scientist-hosted briefings in the biochemistry lab, Ice Engineering Facility, and greenhouse and finally paired with “mentors” for hands-on training and an in-depth look at how physics is built into an engineering test structure for urban warfare.
Students were quick with their feedback, which was overwhelmingly positive. One student wrote, “When we made the ‘seed pucks’ and Felicia [Johnson] and Tim [Cary] gave us the experiment to do, I felt so included with what you do. I hope that the data I give you helps them in some way. I love what they do because of how they help the environment to come back or sustain itself during military action.”
“We had some of the most positive job site evaluations that I can remember. The students came back to school that day with much enthusiasm. Many have mentioned contacting you later for a summer job or employment after graduation,” stated School Counselor Barbara Mason, Indian River School. “I feel strongly that Job Shadow Day has the potential to be a life changing experience for many of our students. Thank you for providing this motivating opportunity for our students and all of the time you put into making Job Shadow Day such a success.”