Climate Fix: Make Clean Energy

An Invitation

Idea Hatch: STEAM for Kids is a nonprofit youth education organization based in the Puget Sound area that brings interactive science events to libraries and schools. We are now coordinating the interactive mobile science exhibit Climate Change: Educate & Activate! and invite your participation.


Invitation: As climate change concerns us all, the stations will be crowd-sourced. In this spirit of community collaboration, we invite area makerspaces, as well as woodworking, science, and technology classes and clubs to create and contribute any of the following stations, or propose their own ideas. Stations could be created in groups or individually, for fun or for credit. Let us know what you decide to make, so we can make sure we aren't duplicating stations!


Idea List:

  • A pressure sensor pad that people can jump on, and see that energy translated into coal, solar, and wind power. This can be displayed on a screen, or physically.

  • A solar power model, that people can use to run a model car. A light bulb will power the solar model. It would be great if there were a solar panel that could people could hold up closer or farther away from the bulb, and a gauge or display showing the resulting difference in power generated.

  • A wind turbine model, used to run a model car. It could also have a device that people can blow into and see how much wind power it takes to move the blades. Wind power could be displayed on a screen or with a gauge.

  • A model of any other way to create electricity (salt water, mold, etc.) that can power a model car.

  • A giant book with a simple story (and illustrations) of the history of world. The story stops at our present age, and the last pages are blank for people to write and draw how they think the story ends. There must be a way to remove and insert pages, as more blank pages will be inserted at each event. The book should be hardcover, and might measure about 4 feet by 2.5 feet.

  • Five or more racing tracks of the same length, and vehicles like cars, buses, trains, and skateboards that people can race on the tracks. Vehicles are handicapped according to C02 emission, perhaps dragging extra weights labeled C02, so that that skateboards and public transportation finish the track before cars.

  • A water table that is a model of the Puget Sound, with lines or colors indicating projected sea level rise for different decades. One lever/button lets people fill the model with water, and another lever/button lets them drain it. This could be a complete model, or a cutaway/cross section with a window.

  • A metal globe, with an element inside giving off heat (and possibly cold too). Later, a thermal imaging camera will be trained on the globe, causing image to be displayed on a screen. Looking at the screen, people can see how the planet is warm (and cold), as are their own bodies. They can hold up heat blocking squares to see how greenhouse gas blocks and traps heat. We have the screen, and camera. Your part of the project is the metal globe with the heating element inside.

  • Bottles of C02 emitted from different sources, that kids can safely test with a CO2 sensor (we can provide the sensor). This may involve valves on the bottles so a sensor can be inserted, but no gas escapes.

  • Any greenhouse gas demonstration/experiment station, that meets the guidelines below.

  • Any interactive station that let's people learn about their carbon footprint, that meets the guidelines below.

  • Any station that gives people take away tools and ideas to positively impact the climate crisis, that meets the guidelines below.

Guidelines: Stations must be very interactive, inviting participants to move. Stations must be safe, and educational for ages 5-11. As there will be no one to guide or demonstrate at the stations, it must be immediately obvious how to interact with them. Successful stations will be like our Augmented Reality Sandbox: younger kids learn just by playing with the sand, while older kids make mountains and rivers and learn about topography and watersheds. Our Earthquake Table is another example: Younger kids just enjoy stacking blocks and knocking them down, while older kids build structures that survive earthquakes. Stations must be simple to set up. Stations must fold (if large) for transport, and must be durable enough to set up and take down about a hundred times.


Agreement: We will create signs, attributing creators, and listing any information you would like to provide. We will advertise and book events, transport the exhibit, set up, break down, and staff the events. What you build will belong to you, and you will loan it to us for 6 months at a time. Or you may choose to donate it to us, or simply store it with us. We hope that you will pay for materials, but if that is not possible, we have a small amount of money to contribute. You must email us about your station, so we can avoid duplication. If a station doesn't meet the guidelines, or there are duplicate stations, we may decide not to use it.


Creators are welcome to attend and participate in events, and if you or your group create more than one station, we can bring a free Climate Change: Educate & Activate! event to your school, makerspace, or other community venue, as thanks for your participation. Usually, we will charge to bring this event to schools and libraries, but only enough to cover transport, advertising, and staffing. This will enable us to bring it to lower income schools and libraries for free.


Deadline for Station Completion: May 15, 2020. If you need to keep your station longer, to present to your class or community, we can be flexible with the date.


Thank you for participating in this community collaboration for Climate Change education. We look forward to your ideas and input!