The Summer of Field Trips
Think Big Tampa Bay
Think Big for Kids embarked on an enriching series of field trips this summer, offering middle school students the opportunity to explore diverse career paths. Through hands-on and interactive learning, our Career Exploration Pillar comes to life, thanks to the generous time and support from our partner companies.
At the heart of these field trips is the belief that exposure to real-world workplaces and professionals will inspire and shape the dreams of our young students. From the cutting-edge technology hub at ReliaQuest to the bustling fulfillment centers of Amazon, the students from The Boys and Girls Club were immersed in dynamic environments that painted a vivid picture of potential career trajectories and inspired ideas for personal growth and development.
Our field trips began at ReliaQuest, where our students explored practical applications of cybersecurity strategies and observed first-hand how the company’s advanced technology is a strong defense against cyber threats. After taking an in-depth tour of the office and spending time learning what each department contributes to the company, the students analyzed real-world cyber incidents by testing their password strength to better understand the intensity of threat detection in their own everyday lives.
The students next went on an exclusive tour of an Amazon warehouse located in Tampa, where they learned how workers fulfill an order with the aid of cutting-edge robotics. Watching the process of nearly 20 million newly placed orders come to life, from packing to being sent to the appropriate address from the facility, allowed the students to grasp the ins and outs of an assembly line and how everything comes together before it lands on their doorsteps.
On our field trip to Bloomin’ Brands, the students tasted foods from well-known concepts Outback Steakhouse, Aussie Grill, Fleming’s Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill. During taste testing with the chefs, they learned the recipes of each meal and what it takes to create a well-liked dish from a global restaurant corporation. The students were also given the opportunity to explore the office and engage with different members of the Bloomin’ Brand team, learning the role each department plays in helping a new restaurant location get built or how each menu is tailored to the guest experience. The jam-packed day ended with a delicious catered lunch and valuable insights into the dynamic world of hospitality.
At the Publix Dairy plant, students delved into another side of the culinary world to witness firsthand the art of food production in a factory. They viewed the rather lengthy process of creating ice cream, sour cream, cottage cheese, and other dairy products, while observing the manufacturing of filling gallon bottles. By providing insights into the food production process and factory operations, Publix aims to inform kids about the intricacies of the industry. Students were led then understand the complexities of a Publix supermarket, where they learned practical knowledge of the food they ingest daily. Additionally, Publix representatives shared a detailed career progression, from the factory to the store and even their corporate office, emphasizing the value of diligence. The day culminated with a sampling of select premium Publix ice cream flavors.
At Hays Specialist Recruitment Center, the kids witnessed the day-to-day operations within the world of talent acquisition and interacted with industry professionals to create resumes. After learning the differences between a bad and good resume, they were tasked with generating their own. Hays provided valuable insights to help students understand the significance of gaining experience early on and recognizing their own strengths through word choice and personal branding. Some students even uncovered a potential passion for recruitment and helping others discover their own career path.
Bake More Pies
Their next trip to Bake More Pies (BMP), a premium digital marketing agencyin Tampa, sparked our kids’ creativity as they collaborated to create an advertisement from inception to final cut. They experienced hands-on activities to create visual storytelling concepts and learn what it takes to receive instructions from a client and carry out their requests. Using high-end film equipment on a sound stage studio, BMP helped teams of students create their own 30-second commercial. After spending a few hours understanding the magic of each piece of equipment, relegating responsibilities among each other, and brainstorming ideas, each group was tasked with filming their commercial and presenting the finished product for submission. Students gained valuable insights into filming techniques and content creation, opening them to careers in content development, video production and marketing.
An equally enlightening field trip was the visit to Tampa General, where students took a big leap into the realm of healthcare and witnessed the impact of medical professionals through hands-on clinical and non-clinical simulation. Our students enjoyed several activities including a clinical command center to coordinate patient care, a fun game of “zombie outbreak – infection prevention” and a visit to the helipad to learn about pre-hospital care with the flight crew. After a slew of fast-paced activities, the kids sat down with members of the volunteer programs and had a pet-therapy session with a resident emotional support animal. Their day wrapped up with advice on the different types of medical and healthcare careers available for all types of people.
Tampa field trips culminated in a visit to the USF Athletic Center, where students were immersed in the world of sports and witnessed the dedication of collegiate athletes and coaches. Beginning with an introductory presentation about the USF Athletics Department, its history and role within the university, the students were taken on a guided tour of various athletic facilities, including the basketball arena, football stadium, training rooms, and weight rooms. With a firsthand look at an indoor practice field, the kids were given timed practice drills and learned what goes into coaching various teams. The field trip gave students an opening into a career path in athletics and teamwork, even if they don’t play sports.
Think Big Atlanta
Our Atlanta students were able to visit their own Hays Recruitment Center location, giving them a deep appreciation for the world of talent acquisition and the art of matching skillsets with opportunities. They too enjoyed a resume workshop and learned the value of work experience in preparation for a successful career and future, no matter what field it may be.
Think Big New Jersey
In New Jersey, students were immersed in the realm of design and logistics at Phillip Jeffries, where they created wall coverings and discussed pattern formation. They were presented with a design challenge and created their own concepts. Students were exposed to the ways design concepts evolve into wall coverings and with raw materials. With this comprehensive overview of the design industry and the various career markets, the kids applied their creativity in a new, exciting way.
Port Jersey Logistics
Another field trip day included Port Jersey Logistics, where students learned the creative process behind handling consumer packaging and the intricacies of supply chain management. After an introductory session explaining the fundamentals of logistics, warehousing and distribution, the kids took a guided tour of the facility and witnessed the handling of products. They received an inside look at the day-to-day operations of shipments from receiving to processing. After interacting with employees, our New Jersey thinkers now have a newfound career discovery in the world of supply chain.
Our field trip season concluded on a high note, with a visit to the offices of Citrin Cooperman. Students had an opportunity to learn about building their personal brand, networking in the workplace, resume writing and were exposed to the basics of financial responsibility. Students met and engaged with members of a variety of different departments at Citrin Cooperman and explored a diverse array of career paths during their tour of the facility. The trip ended with a pizza & ice cream party where they got to interact with members of the Citrin Coopemran team in a casual setting.
Contract Leasing Corporation
Additionally, Think Big for Kids had an engaging and enlightening field trip at Contract Leasing Corporation (CLC). The day was thoughtfully organized into various activities that provided our young participants with hands-on experiences in different aspects of the business world. In one station, students dived into the world of invoices and financial transactions, gaining insight into billing processes and even learning about tire positions. Another station focused on honing interview skills, where the kids went through mock applications and interviews, vying for a candy prize for the winning team. In the technology challenge, children disassembled and reassembled computer components under a timer, adding an element of excitement to the learning process. There was also a trailer and chassis puzzle contest that not only encouraged teamwork but also provided a glimpse into the workings of CLC. The day was capped off with a hearty lunch and a surprise trailer drop-off, where Bob Rambone showcased trailer components, adding a touch of excitement and real-world context to their experience. Goodie boxes were awarded to each group as they departed, a fitting end to a productive and fun-filled day of learning.
Think Big Chicago
Winston and Strawn
In Chicago, a field trip to Winston and Strawn provided a captivating insight into the legal profession, inspiring ambitions in the realm of law and advocacy to our students. The students were given an overview of the law firm, different areas of legal practice, what is involved in the legal process and the roles of attorneys in the office. After exploring the Winston and Strawn office, they discussed the diverse career options available in the legal industry.