Trees are the longest living and largest living organisms on earth. One acre of forest absorbs six tones of carbon dioxide and puts out four tones of oxygen. Trees are good noise barriers, making a city and neighborhood quieter. This is just the tip of the iceberg of information you and your kids can explore at the new exhibit 'Exploring Trees Inside and Out' at the Seattle Pacific Science Center.
We are a bit tongue and cheek about the treehugger name, but sponsors of the exhibit Doubletree Hotels and The Arbor Day Foundation are serious about getting kids to appreciate the outside world, even if it means going inside.Put down the computer, and go outside. Is a piece of advice we don't hear enough or we just aren't listening. A recent study shows that American interest in outdoor activities such as hiking, visiting state and national parks, and simple outdoor leisure activities has dropped 20% since the 1980's. As kids grow up tethered to a computer reading treehugger or playing the Wii, they may be getting smarter and fitter, but are loosing a valuable connection to the natural world.
The exhibit, which is scheduled to tour the country until 2010 allows kids of all ages to experience trees with a new twist, allowing everyone to:
Sit down inside a giant leaf and be surrounded by the light, sound, and sensation of photosynthesis.
Smell the scents from various trees, guess what they might be, then discover just a few of the many products we get from trees.
Crawl through a log and experience it as a habitat for other living things.
Hear the sounds of animals that live in trees, and even become a forest creature in a "green screen" experience that allows children to fly like a bird and soar over the treetops
Perhaps this exhibit will jolt a few sessile individuals outside, and maybe even help reconnect with the world around them.