Putting Kids’ Energy to Good Use0

Winston Rice | Fri Sep 2 2011 |

As any parent or grandparent knows, children have a ton of energy. And one of the challenges of parenting is figuring out how to put all that energy to good use. Four Hyundai engineers have come up with a great solution that is a win-win situation: the Natural Energy Park. Children get a great place to play while learning about how energy works.

By combining the fun of a jungle gym with the curiosities of science, You Song Young, Jin Soo Yeon, Ahn Ho Sang, and Lee Sung Jae have created a rich experience that lets children use their energy and get something back for it: fun and education.

Kids can see how pedaling a bicycle can power lights, or spin a pinwheel. Or they can play interactive games like a magnetic levitation (maglev) “airplane,” a video periscope, or a seesaw-powered water wheel.

Designer You Song Young says, “In the Natural Energy Park children can experience new and renewable energy through play. They learn how their actions (turn, run, shake, climb) are converted into the energy immediately and how the energy generated can be converted into new forms as they play.”

Winner of the coveted Red Dot design award, the Natural Energy Park teaches children that electricity must come from somewhere. What’s more, they see how renewable energy works and can begin to form a sense of responsibility and commitment to alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, and tidal.

At a time when there are countless instant electronic diversions, getting children interested in playing outside isn’t as easy as it used to be. The Natural Energy Park gives children a great place to get some exercise, learn more about their environment, and make new friends.