Science festival returns to Slope: Day of hands-on learning inspires young brainiacs

Science festival returns to Slope: Day of hands-on learning inspires young brainiacs
Photo by Zoe Freilich

It was an extravaganza for tiny eggheads!

Youngsters who love to learn descended on the Park Slope Armory YMCA on Sunday for a knowledge-packed festival where they played with robots and threw on space suits in order to sharpen their minds, according to a mom who toted her son to the event.

“It was a positive introduction to hands-on learning,” said Crown Heights resident Helen Cortes, who attended with her three-year-old boy, Charles Rodriguez. “He was able to try out and look at robots, and he loved putting on the astronaut outfit.”

Rodriguez joined hundreds of local tots who partook in activities to develop their science, technology, engineering, and math skills at the World Science Festival’s second-annual City of Science event, a free, day-long program sponsored by utility company Con Edison that transformed the 15th Street athletic facility into a active-learning center.

Organizers put together 22 different exhibits for tykes to check out, including a photo zone where kids dressed as space travelers and a robot demonstration in addition to a gravity simulator, an area with seven-foot-tall dominoes, and one station with an experience that seemed to defy reason, according to another mother.

“They liked the walking on water,” Sunset Parker April Merino said of her three children, who participated in the depth-defying stunt in which they dashed across the surface of a water-cornstarch mixture that filled a rubber trough.

The kids who participated in the event left with an understanding of how to turn everyday moments into fun-filled learning opportunities, Merino said.

“It taught them the aspects of science that are in every day life,” she said.

Reach reporter Adam Lucente at alucente@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @Adam_Lucente.