Our group was initially interested in exploring the area of sustainable energy. We experimented with the idea of creating a geothermal energy exhibit, and an exhibit that focused on activities that helped kids to understand how wind and solar power worked. After several attempts at coming up with ideas, we settled on kinetic energy because in many ways it encompassed the various topics that we had discussed before. We wanted kids to learn through play, and to think about how energy and power are created, specifically thinking from the source of energy creation and not just the mediums through which we access energy.
We thought that by focusing on physical, fun movement, we could engage the kids in the topic and get them thinking about how they can be a source of energy for their homes AND get them imagining how kinetic energy can be used in other ways on larger scales to power neighborhoods and communities.
We created an energy neighborhood called "Kineticut" in order to introduce kids to the concept of Kinetic Energy. Our intention in creating the houses in Kineticut was to attract children's attention with visuals that would spark their curiosity so that they would be interested in the principles we were trying to relay. We wanted fun inputs and simple, yet interesting outputs so that children would be engaged. Each level of each house contained lights of different colors that were activated by inputs ---which were physical movements---from the kids.
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