A Powerful Playground !
Kids have energy. There's no doubt about that. Their favorite part of school is recess and they can't wait to get outside.
What if we could use all of this energy to power places in our community, including our schools?
Tiger Energy Biscuits, a Kraft company, used this same idea to build a playground. They partnered with a local university in the Philippines, working one year to create a playground that could capture energy used on the equipment to power their local community.
This can be even more advanced, using other technology such as energy capturing tiles currently used at stadiums. This is a learning opportunity for kids and become cost effective for communities, and promote a school or business in the process.
A community could power a community.
Energy Transfer Playground
How amazing does that sound?
If a city wanted to implement a playground like this, they could use the resources and people inside their city to power it, saving money and the environment.
First, they could look to local colleges and universities to jump-start this project.
This is a learning opportunity.
What better way is there for students to learn about mechanisms and energy than creating a real life energy storing playground. Even high schoolers or first graders can see this as a learning opportunity to understand energy, and ways to protect the planet.
(This could be little to no cost to the city)
This can save the City.
A lot of cities are struggling with finances and looking for any way to save a dime. Even a city is well-off, there are always places extra money can go. Kraft used the playground for publicity, increasing the Tiger Biscuit sales 382%. Companies can sponsor the playground, creating advertising for them, and becoming even less of an expense for the city.
Above all, this is promoting health.
By providing more opportunities for play, this is providing more opportunities for health. This can be put in place for cities who can't afford parks on their own, overall creating a better community.
Before even seeing the Tiger Energy playground, I could picture a current playground slowly evolve into a complete self-sustaining environment. Already existing playgrounds can be slowly changed, recycling and parts that already exhist and evolving them into powerful and playful games for kids.
What community does this idea benefit and who are the main players?
The cool thing about this is that it can be placed into any community.
A community could plant a park, transform a park, add it to their schools, implement this into malls, theme-parks, anything!
Once a community invests the time into making one, the parts and playground can be easily re-created for another location or purpose. If a city just wanted one swing set, they could just start out with that. With the money they save, they could grow their playground and their investment into even more opportunities for reusable energy.
Being a college student, I'm always looking for opportunities for projects like this to use my talents and make an impact, and I know I'm not the only one. Schools will want to be a part of this if it gives exposure to their university, and the opportunity for students to have a real-life experience.
When I was a kid, we used to convince my teacher to give us extra recess. I know in second grade I would have so many questions of how the playground worked and why we were doing it. This could even be a fun way for schools and students to compete. They could see which class created the most energy, competing against their friends or even schools competing against schools.
This could create so much publicity for the city and others involved, going green is always a trend, and this is a cool way to promote it.
How does your idea specifically help your community rapidly transition to renewables?
This idea isn't just about changing light-bulbs. This is about creating sustainable playgrounds that can power a city for years and years.
Renewable energy, our focus is trying to change and develop things that already exist such as the oil industry, when we should be looking to completely new ideas (like Open IDEO is doing).
If people want to have an impact on their planet, instead of waiting on someone else to change their energy, a community can start this on their own. They don't need to wait for a big company or organization, they can start making environmental change on their own!
What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?
1. Classes can start the discussion of energy, and start to brainstorm their own ideas and concepts for creating this renewable playground. This is the most cost effective and easiest way to see the potential of this project.
2. Communities can host an even, putting things such as sustainable dance floors can be put in place to see how much energy a group of people can actually create! Their interest might start the discussion of putting this in place.
3. The company Playground Energy uses the energy from children, to create a better playground experience by adding light and sound with their energy used. Even just putting one of these items in place, you can begin to see value in the energy of kids.
What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?
This idea is good, but it can be something even greater.
Post your input on how we can evolve this into something amazing!
How can this playground improve your community?
Are there any other pieces of technology out there that support this idea?
How can we make this already existing idea better?
How can this be tied into idea of a power-producing gym?
Please indicate which type of energy is most relevant to this post:
A combination of various types of renewable energy