FLOC’s Scholars Program offers students many field trip and events to attend. In 10th grade, students have the opportunity to visit 4 work places in the D.C. area in order to get a better sense of the work place, ask career related questions, and create networking opportunities. This year students have visited FLOC, Kube Architecture, and Omni Hotel & Resort.
For the 10th graders’ last visit on December 2nd, they had a rare opportunity to visit the Smithsonian Institution’s National Zoological Park. Our Scholars met 4 zookeepers who work in Asia Trail, Small Mammals, Bird House, and Amazonia. The keepers shared more information about potential careers options at the Zoo and some of their personal experiences on the job. One keeper has been working at the zoo for 24 years.
They also talked about diversity in their workplace. For example, there are now more women and minorities in STEM careers. The zookeepers are also members of their diversity committee and they shared their own personal insights. Our 10th graders were engaged and asked many questions including:
- What experiences prepared you for your job?
- What would you say to a high schooler who is interested in a career in science?
- What internship opportunities are available to us?
After the panel, the students had their own private tour of the Amazonia exhibit and learned more about animal enrichment and conservation. The Zoo was excited to work with our students and encouraged them to come back to visit anytime!
(Cassie Degener is the College Access Coordinator with the Scholars Program.)