While most companies host a traditional bring your kids to work day, Zillow Group went a different direction this year, hosting the first-ever Kids Day of Engineering. Employees brought their children of all ages into the office for a day of discovery and adventure. The event focused on engaging the kids in age-appropriate activities that would spark their interest in engineering, innovation and collaboration — all while having fun!
Judging by the turnout, the event was a big hit. Organizers had anticipated 125 participants when they announced the event but more than 250 kids, from ages 3 to 17, registered. Each participant received a bag full of surprises, including an engineer-in-training shirt to wear during their activity sessions. Kids were directed to rooms for different activities depending on their age.
After walking out of his morning activity, 12-year-old Eddie exclaimed to his mom, “I didn’t know if this would be so much fun, but it is.” He said he liked that everyone in his group got to share their coding project with everyone.
Later in the day Eddie was even more thrilled with the day’s events. He said, “This is so much better than school!”
All the participants and parents enjoyed a catered lunch — complete with a pasta bar, salad, rolls, cookies and ice cream bars — while listening to a speech by Code.org founder Hadi Partovi. During his presentation, Partovi spoke about Hour of Code, the organization’s most notable event, which aims to involve every student in the country in an hour of coding to demonstrate that people of all genders, races and backgrounds can be good at computer science.
Partovi emphasized that parents need to encourage schools that aren’t already prioritizing computer science to expose their students, especially females and underrepresented minorities, to opportunities in computer science and technology.
“Coding is something boys and girls alike should learn. Hour of Code has been 50/50 in [gender] participation — far more balanced than the industry,” Partovi said.
After lunch Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group, asked the kids if they were having fun, and the answer was a resounding, “yes!” The kids eagerly raised their hands to share their projects from the morning activities as well as things they’d created at home.
The older participants had learned how to build their own computer game while the younger kids had constructed towers from cups and candy houses. One of the older kids, Everest, even shared a website that he’d created to help others learn HTML code.
“I want to work at Zillow” was overhead dozens of times throughout the day — primarily from kids munching on treats from a popular Zillow office perk, the candy wall.
Do you also want to work at Zillow and bring your kids to work? We’ve got openings in offices across the country!
Photos by Adam Cohn.