Museum of Science and Industry


You’ve probably heard parents joking that their kids need to burn off some energy. What if, instead, the adults told them to go outside and make some electricity? Here's a neat idea: using playtime to produce power!

Energy harnessing playgrounds can use the movement of play to generate electricity, which can then be used to light the area at night or be stored for later. Who knows, maybe someday they will generate enough to be fed into the grid! They also have the "potential" (ha!) to help kids learn about energy sources and energy consumption. Even grownups can get in on the action – outdoor and indoor electric gyms exist for adults. It's cool that we can take things that we already do for fun, and harvest some extra benefits – by using people as an alternative energy source!

Image: Viridian

Update on 7/3/12:

I was disappointed that the playgrounds and gyms featured in the links above are far away or are still ideas. But this weekend, a friend told me about Eco Gym - a local (out in the western suburbs) energy collecting gym for adults and kids that opened up earlier this year. So exciting!

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Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
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Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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