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Jul 13 2016 - 12:00am
Lowline Lab

When real estate in New York City is at a premium and green space is hard to come by, the logical decision may be to start looking underground. Such was James Ramsey's epiphany when he pitched the world's first subterranean public park to collaborators Dan Barasch and R. Boykin Curry IV back in 2009. The Lowline will use advanced solar technology to strategically filter light into the abandoned Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal where diverse plant life will thrive and communities will gather. But that's not until the year 2020. In the meantime, the Lowline Lab, located right across the street at the former site of the Essex Street Marketplace, welcomes visitors to explore the magical, solar-powered jungle each weekend and school children to engage with the technology, horticulture, and design principles behind this forward thinking brainchild through the Young Designers Program. Lowline Lab launched YDP in 2012 to engage youth around design and teamed up with CityScience three years later to further develop and lead STEM activities that unpacked and demystified STEM concepts found in the Lab.

Since then, thousands of NYC school children have had the opportunity to conduct STEM-oriented experiments and activities that explore everything from the use of parabolas to bend light and harnessing refraction to generate permanent rainbows, to landscape design and topography. And in the spirit of this community-built endeavor, participants conclude their experience by contributing ideas to the design and use of the space to be enjoyed by future generations to come.

Music: Pure Swell and Golden Hour by Podington Bear