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Why my tween and teen are going to Tech Trek instead of the pool on the last day of school

As a mom, I feel very lucky that my teenage daughters still talk to me. As a working mom, I feel even luckier that my kids are interested in my work and interested in their community.

For the third year in a row, my kids are skipping the pool and heading to downtown Ann Arbor to attend A2 Tech Trek.

For my kids, A2 Tech Trek is a bit of Shark Tank meets HGTV. My kids love asking the entrepreneurs at the SPARK Central Innovation Center how they plan to scale their business and they love checking out all the different office decor. What is it about kids and free stuff and free food? My kids love the free swag and the cool interactive games and exhibits on display at different offices.Last year, my older daughter Sarah spent hours playing with the virtual reality gear at Neurable’s exhibit.

A2 Tech Trek is a terrific way to expose your kids to a variety of careers and to meet and talk to real people working in tech. Participants are exposed to a variety of tech companies in downtown Ann Arbor, from boutique software development companies like Atomic Object to fast growing companies that are no longer start-ups like Duo Security. Such exposure expands horizons about what helps drive the Ann Arbor economy. Sure, most Ann Arbor kids know that the Big House is the largest stadium in the United States with capacity to seat more than 107,000 people, but just as important is the knowledge that downtown Ann Arbor has more than 3000 technology workers employed by 221 different high tech companies.

At A2 Tech Trek, my kids get to see how what they learn in school is applied in the real world. Kids interact with tech workers with job titles like scrum master, UX designer and UI designer – not the standard job titles you see at middle school career day!

Be sure to check out A2 Tech Trek on Friday, June 16, the last day of school for Ann Arbor Public Schools, a yearly event showcasing some of our most innovative companies. Ann Arbor SPARK’s mission is to advance the economy of the Ann Arbor region by establishing the area as a desired place for business expansion and location.