Friday, May 19, 2006

Solar Power Future Energy boring kids?

Ever wonder what the Stirling engine and Thermoelectricity could possibly have in common? Given that at one vending machine repair department, only one techie managed to comprehend how the Stirling engine worked. So, how do we explain this to a bunch of 10 year olds?

That's simple, compared to having to explain hydrolysis and a fuel-cell to the same group of kids.

Do you see the a link between trash, overfilled landfills, the energy crisis, and an umbrella repair tent at a festival?

Some say there's no point to teaching kids about solar cars because they're impractical. No, solar cars work only in 1/24th scale or so. They can't possibly be scaled up! Impossible! They're slow, too. And, the sun rarely shines in Vancouver ("Raincouver") in the Wet Coast, anyway. Boy, if think this way, you're sadly mistaken.

At Science World at Telus World of Science, something different has been shown. Solar Power Roadshow's workshop used magic, contests, gags, and pranks to get kids from 6 to 60 charged up (sorry, bad pun) about Future Energy - the almost-possible kind, like using water to run a calculator, and yes, a car.

At the GVRD "Future In Our Hands" Sustainability festival at the Roundhouse Community Centre, Solar Power Roadshow (in a fun way) repaired damaged umbrellas, and brought them back to use. Its just a small demo, but if we RePair and ReUse, we'll all ReDuce the number of garbage trucks on our congested roads, and lower landfill loads, too. And, we'll reduce the energy used to manufacture umbrella parts.


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