An Energy Playground
Engineering Challenge: An Energy Playground
Using Human Power
People expend a lot of energy walking, running, riding bicycles and lifting things. In playgrounds children run around, climb, jump and move pieces of equipment like swings, see-saws and merry-go-rounds. Some people go to a gym where they lift weights, run on treadmills and ride bicycles that don’t go anywhere.
Energy created from this see-saw drives a water pump in a village in Thailand.
Water drawn from the pond using see-saw power is delivered to a terraced garden nearby.
What if all this energy could be harnessed to do work that is now being done by using conventional sources of energy?
- Connect a bicycle to an electric generator?
- Use a see-saw to lift something?
- Use a merry-go-round to power a ventilation system?
Here is a picture of a see-saw driven water pump in a village in Thailand.
The bicycles in the background also drive water pumps. The water is drawn from the pond and delivered to a terraced garden nearby where it is used to water plants.
The Energy Playground
Design a playground or gym where human energy is captured and used to do work.
Build a working prototype based on your design.
Or, design any device that captures human energy – motion or heat – and uses it for some purpose.
Look at the web sites and projects listed below to find examples, information and ideas that may help you with your project.