Each school hosted its own “Science Night,” filled with engaging exhibitors who did their best to show kids how fun science can be. From extracting strawberries’ DNA to learning about and playing with solar-powered toy cars, I’m sure the kids had a blast.
Cascade colleague Robin Randels and I arrived at the science fairs armed with tools to excite kids about bicycling. We set up a bike with a Computrainer and projected the computer visuals onto a screen. The kids could ride a fixed course and discover how many watts of electricity could be generated by pedaling. We compared their watts to how many watts it takes to power different home items – light bulbs, a desktop computer, a TV, an Xbox360, etc. We showed them how much physical energy it would take to power the things they use every day.
Most of the kids were breathing heavily after pedaling hard enough to power a light bulb for a couple minutes, and were surprised by how much energy it takes! They loved so much that we had a never-ending line of youngins patiently waiting for their turn.
While they cheered each other on, we were able to talk to parents about bicycle safety and distribute informational materials. With Bike to School Month approaching in May, we love to see so much student enthusiasm about biking.
Do your kids bike to school? Please share your story in the comments.