ADOT Kids showing what it means to be an 'engineer as a career'

By Lori Baker / ADOT Communications

ADOT Kids All Characters for printWith children spending more time at home because of the public health situation, parents, grandparents and teachers are looking for ways to educate and entertain them. 

That's why in April 2020 we launched ADOT Kids to pique youngsters’ interest in math, science and creativity through engineering-related activities. From building toothpick bridges and creating chalk art drawings, to writing safety messages and solving word jumbles, ADOT Kids activities pique youngsters’ interest in math, science and creativity. 

Now, with National Engineers Week kicking on Feb. 21, ADOT Kids activities will focus on the topic of “engineer as a career.” Expect posts and activities next week that focus on what it means to be an engineer. 

Development Engineer Joselyn Valero and Engineer-in-Training Babak Dehghani are sharing their stories to encourage children to pursue engineering careers. 

“I always loved math and I wanted to be where math is a big part of it. The idea of building a bridge or a skyscraper fascinated me,” Valero said. 

Dehghani, a construction engineer, is gaining experience in different aspects of engineering through ADOT’s Engineer-In-Training program. 

“With an engineering degree, you could ensure that every road, bridge, airport, water supply and mass transit system is well-planned and completed,” he said. 

Bridge Design Manager David Benton, who discusses bridges in an ADOT Kids video, praised the ADOT Kids initiative.

“ADOT Kids helps young kids understand how employees at ADOT help people get to where they want to go and help keep them safe on the road,” Benton said. 

ADOT staff creates all the interactive educational content, which can be be found on ADOT Kids website, azdot.gov/ADOTKids. There you'll find cartoon characters, games, photos, videos and Zoom video backgrounds of large equipment and Arizona landscapes. Communications team members even created an original song for ADOT Kids about dust storm safety

ADOT employees like East Flagstaff Highway Operations Tech Supervisor Tod Skinner are helping to promote ADOT Kids. His wife, Kelsey, is area director of the Boys and Girls Club of Williams where children participated in ADOT Kids snow plow activities. Tod even brought a TowPlow to the club so youngsters could see it up close. 

“We talked about the science involved in snow and ice removal, the technology and engineering of the truck, and the math involved in the price of the TowPlow versus two regular size plows and the cost of manpower and fuel,” Kelsey said. 

Check out ADOT Kids activities and help spread the word to your friends, schools and youth organizations. Look for #ADOTKids activities on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Send suggestions for ADOT Kids activities to [email protected]

And make sure to be on the lookout next week for special National Engineers Week content!