The Friends of the High Line recently got youngsters engaged in some garden variety discoveries at a hands-on laboratory and after school program. The lab, which teaches basic concepts of science, is endorsed by NY1 and its parent company, Time Warner Cable, through the Connect A Million Minds program. NY1's Shazia Khan filed the following report.
Getting a child to care about the environment is not always easy, some a few worms and their friends are thrown in. The Friends of the High Line strive to plant the seeds of science in the younger set. The day NY1 visited, the not-for-profit created a lab on its elevated park to teach kids the ABCs of composting.
Elias Litman, age four, opens his eyes to a world under his feet, by inspecting worms and centipedes close up.
"This is an opportunity for them to really connect to the natural world by experiencing it, by exploring it," said High Line program manager Emily Pinkowitz.
With simple nature guides in hand, the children roamed the High Line in search of dead plants ready for a new beginning.
"They act as food for worms and beetles and millipedes that eat them and turn them into compost that then feeds new plants," said Pinkowitz.
Back at the lab, two-year-old Zain Fritz shredded newspaper to make bedding for the worms.
"He's a very curious person, like most children, and so wherever his curiosity leads, I allow it as long as it's not dangerous," said the toddler's father.
Five-year-old Chiara Kimeliaama was preparing dinner for the worms.
"That's newspaper, that's banana peel, and that's plants," said Chiara.
The kids gained somewhat of an understanding of the "circle of life."
"[Worms] eat all the plants and then they poop it out and make soil," said a child.
For more information on other programs designed to inspire children through science, technology, engineering and math, visit ConnectAMillionMinds.com.