A Manhattan community center is getting some local girls interested in science by giving them their own, full-sized planetarium. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
It's a figure of speech but at the new Girls Club facility on Manhattan's Lower East Side it can be taken a bit more literally. The just opened, high tech, community center counts among its resources a sound design studio and a 3D printing lab. But the crown jewel is the first Girls Club in the nation with its own planetarium.
"What's important about connecting girls to a center that has state-of-the-art technology is it's about opening opportunities, it's about access, it's about giving girls 21st century skills that they can take into the marketplace," says Adriana Pezzulli of the Lower East Side Girls Club.
Now you may be wondering why sink all that money into a planetarium when a perfectly good planetarium, one of the best in the world, is just uptown from here. Actually, the 64-seat planetarium was built with help from folks at the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium. In fact, it even uses the same basic software to run the shows.
"Here, we'll be able to actually bring this to the kids with a greater interaction and that interaction is based on the programming that can really extend and engage people on a level that's really one to one it's a smaller audience in a sense," explains Carter Emmart of the American Museum of Natural History.
And as you might expect, the girls who who'll get to use all this cool stuff say it certainly might help peak their interest in science and technology.
"We get to look at it and we get to explore things," says one Girls Club participant.
"I think it's really cool because we're little and we get to set a dream and a goal for our lives and what we're going to be and what we're going to do," says another Girls Club participant.
For more information on hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math opportunities in your community, head over to NY1 parent company Time Warner Cable's Connect a Million Minds initiative at www.connectamillionminds.com.