From time to time, I host a coffee hour for CPSC staff. It is a wonderful opportunity to get a chance to meet and talk with so many people in our agency that we do not get to interact with on a regular basis. Our coffees help put faces with names and in getting to know the people working hard each and every day to carry out CPSC’s mission.
The coffees are normally held in my office at Bethesda Towers, but this month’s coffee was held out at our lab or 5RP/NPTEC. Among those in attendance from 5RP/NPTEC were four students who are at CPSC as part of the Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). These four young men are at CPSC for fourteen weeks and are completing a project entitled “Public Benefits to a Smoke Alarm Performance Evaluation Scheme.” Their goal is to develop a method for testing and communicating smoke alarm performance that exceeds the minimum voluntary standards and determine if this information would be beneficial to the public.
Meeting these young men and hearing about their project was inspiring. The relationship that CPSC has with WPI is an important one that benefits both parties. The students from WPI get to learn in a hands-on, real world environment. The agency gets the benefit of the energy, enthusiasm, and new ideas of the students. Providing students with these types of experience should be a part of our mission. We all benefit from encouraging young men and women.