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Griffith Park App For Kids Pushes Scientific Curiosity

Jessica Moulite |
September 15, 2014 | 6:36 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Kids got to test the app at its launch in Griffith Park. (Jessica Moulite/Neon Tommy)
Kids got to test the app at its launch in Griffith Park. (Jessica Moulite/Neon Tommy)
First, Griffith Park began offering free WiFi. Now, it has its own app.

The free Agents of Nature app debuted Monday and is geared toward kids to increase their interest in science. It allows users to scan QR codes on trees with their smartphones and other electronic devices, then reveals information about animals, plants and other forms of wildlife in the park.

“You’ll learn more about what animals do and what nature can help us with,” said fifth-grader Danitza Montesdeoca.

SEE ALSO: This Is Your Brain On Technology

Councilmember Tom LaBonge of the fourth district welcomed students and other members of the community at Monday’s app launch. Representatives from several organizations and groups that pushed for the app, such as the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks and the Get to Know Program, gave personal remarks before the students broke off into groups to test the app.

Verizon California VP of external affairs Gene Eng emphasized the importance of promoting science education and the future implications of learning the subject.

“The United States ranks 38th internationally as far as achievement in science, so anything we can do to positively impact these results by getting our kids interested in science will serve our nation well,” said Eng.

SEE ALSO: Los Angeles Unified School District's Costly iPad Program Reassessed

Mary Krupa-Clark, the director of the Get to Know Program, believes that using mobile devices to teach is the new frontier.

“If they love mobile technology, let’s use that to get what we want. And what do we want? We want kids moving, we want kids healthy, we want kids getting out of doors,” Krupa-Clark said.

As a teacher’s assistant at Allesandro Elementary School, Jackie Bautista has seen the evolution of educational instruction and appreciates how students react to the new technology.

“They’re also being tested with the state testing through iPads and computers now, so this is really helpful for them to be on," Bautista said. "[They're] having fun, but also learning at the same time.”

The free app is now available in mobile stores.

Reach Staff Reporter Jessica Moulite here. Follow her on Twitter.



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