Program introduces children to green tech

Life is a laboratory!
June 22, 2009 10:54:38 AM PDT
At least that's the word from some local scientists who are working to excite the next generation of innovators.It's a collaboration of more than 140 organizations, pooling their efforts to show Chicago-area students that science is fun. It's the future. And it's at the root of all things "green."

"They can learn about chemistry and biology in a fun and engaging outdoor setting for everybody to enjoy," said Dr. Rabiah Mayas, director, Science Chicago.

Science Chicago is a year-long initiative led by the Museum of Science and Industry. Its goal is sparking young people's interest in science.

A traveling science fair, known as "Labfest" will be set in local parks throughout the summer and will be free. Almost every exhibit offers a hands-on lesson.

"It really excited me how much you can do with batteries and stuff and that really excited me too about the soil layers over there. It's really cool," said Quinton Brooks, seventh grader.

Organizers hope teaching through an interactive method will help students realize both the presence and importance of science in their everyday lives.

They also are trying to teach them that science is the building block for the future and its green economy.

"We are talking about sustainable energy and recycling and alternative sources of fuel and wind power, learning and understanding that science and technology is behind everything that we're going to need to protect our environment and live much more green in the future," said Mayas.

As these scientists hope to influence a few budding Einsteins with their gizmos, they may find just their interaction alone may have greater impact than expected.

"I want to be a scientist when I grow up because I see all the teachers out here teaching me stuff, so that's what I want to be when I grow up," said Marlon Davis, seventh grader.

Click here for the full list of Labfests


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