Fourth grade students from Walnut Park Elementary School in Gadsden enjoyed a special field trip on Friday, March 22 courtesy of East AlabamaWorks. Nearly 40 fourth graders were treated to a fun, career exploration field trip to the Imagination Place Children’s Museum – part of the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in Downtown Gadsden.

A popular section of the museum is called Kids Town USA, a miniature city built within the walls of the museum. The miniature city features several businesses, including a hospital, a construction site, and a farm.

The field trip featured local business representatives interacting with the students with fun career-focused activities, talking with them about careers available in their particular business, and about the education required for those careers. Presenters included Riverview Regional Medical Center, Exchange Bank, Vulcan Materials, Owls Hollow Farm, and the Gadsden Fire Department.

The consensus among workforce development officials and educators is that even elementary school age is not too young to start presenting career information to students. The more information a child has, the better their decisions may be down the road…especially if you connect their career ideas to the education pathway they will need to follow, and the subjects they will need to focus on, to reach their careers goals. For example, a child with aspirations to work in the field of construction needs to know that a good math background is a must for construction workers; and the child that wants to be a journalist needs to pay attention to their language, reading, and writing classes.

Following the morning career presentations, the kids enjoyed a pizza party lunch with the career presenters.

Special thanks to the Hardin Center and Imagination Place staff for their help in making the field trip a fun and memorable experience for the kids!