This year, Miami Science Museum hosted a tent called the “Green Planet” in the Children’s Alley at the Miami Book Fair International, an event that attracts approximately half a million people each year.
Partnering with local green organizations, including the Big Blue & You Foundation, Deering Estate at Cutler, DuMond Conservancy for Primates and Tropical Forests, FIU Go Green, Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management, Nature’s Natives, ReThink and ReUse Center, and Sweet Vine, over 3,000 guests enjoyed interactive activities, story time and presentations all aimed at increasing visitors’ awareness about the importance of sustainability and taking care of our environment. “So many people complain that Miami isn’t cultural enough; that there isn’t enough to do with kids…well, here you have it!” said Jeanette G. “I love books and so do my kids. What’s even better is that there are plenty of activities to do with the little ones. We spent quite a bit of time in the “Green Planet” tent doing art and, most importantly, learning about being “green”. There’s still so much to see and do that we’ll have to come back tomorrow!”
Visitors had the opportunity to make puppets out of “junk” (materials, such as coffeemakers, fuses and binder clips, that were headed for the garbage bin but were repurposed as puppet-making materials for this project), listen to stories with environmentally conscious lessons, plant their very own grass in biodegradable planters, design their own feather and add it to a bird silhouette, as well as play board games made with reused materials that follow the life cycle of plastic bottles. Visitors also had the chance to learn about hydroponics, the parts of a plant, how long trash takes to biodegrade in the ocean, what can and cannot be recycled, and how atlases and satellite imagery can help save the tropical rainforest and its primate population.
The Museum’s efforts taught children and adults alike to be more conscious of our planet and to make better “green” decisions and, as 5-year-old James said: “We get to have fun!”