Monday, November 17, 2008

Introducing December 6th presenter Jenny Greene

Jenny Greene grew up in the Bronx. She spent many many happy hours in the Public Library as a child, and is thrilled to be working with children in the library now.

Jenny is an astronomer by trade, she spends her days (and nights)observing the sky. In particular she studies black holes, objects so massive and so compact that not even light can escape their gravitational pull. She loves to look through telescopes in Chile to study the sky, because there is a beautiful view of the Milky Way our galaxy.

When she is not working, Jenny teaches algebra in New Jersey prisons. This has taught her that learning is a very powerful force of empowerment, and has emphasized even more strongly how important programs like Green Apple Kids are for our children and society in general.

For Jenny, studying astronomy is a way to understand where we all came from, and because the Universe is just so magnificent and strange. In this Green Apple Kids workshop, we will focus on the wonders of our planet Earth. We will see how lucky we are to have our natural resources, in particularly, water. In contrast our next-door neighbor, Mars, is not so hospitable to life. We will think about ways to preserve our precious resources on this planet, as well as ways to adapt life to more extreme environments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 1st Workshop Review

A wise person (I think it was Kevin Costner) once said, “If you build it, they will come.” And the developers in our local community seem to have canonized this quote. Our community’s children know all too well about the current, ever encroaching, building phenomena. Scaffolding inhibits their right of way on sidewalks, building materials litter their parks and the giant, gleaming, monolithic structures generally dwarf their points of view.

Presenter Ilya Korolev helped our kids voice their opinions regarding the current construction boom in the city. First Ilya read from the book 'Where We Live' (Adventures in Architecture by Bode, Achim) pointing the Green Apple Kids’ attentions to pictures of dwellings (both modern and historic) from around the world. The kids engaged in discussions as to why some houses were high in trees, or close to the water or made of certain materials.

Next it was time for our budding builders to create a scale city of their own design, utilizing materials pulled from household recycle bins. Some took the roles of architects, while others worked on interior design. A few kids teamed up to figure out the city’s infrastructure, while one dedicated his time to the inhabitants’ safety and security. And everyone was concerned about clean-up and waste disposal.

The experience encouraged the kids to think of alternate ways in which we can impact our environment through building and also displayed the many occupations that go into making a city function. Can we build it differently? Yes we can!

Presenter Ilya Korolev reading to the Green Apple families