The Gaia Project…A Visit to Perth-Andover

Stephanie Kelley
The Gaia Project paid a visit to the schools in Perth-Andover on June 16th. Fascinated students flocked to the exhibit to explore the equipment and learn about alternative energy.

The Gaia Project is on a mission to help youth make informed decisions about energy production, and project representatives Vanessa Paesani and Nick Bastien were on hand to introduce students to the Mobile Energy Centre, a trailer that is equipped with various pieces of interactive learning tools such as a bicycle generator, a weather station, solar panels and a wind turbine.

These tools are used to give the students a hand-on learning experience with alternative energy.

The Gaia Team will typically go to a school for two days as they discuss the past, present and future of energy with the students.

They demonstrate the realities of various methods of energy production, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

Interestingly, the bicycle generator was the biggest draw of the exhibit. Kids lined up to take turns pedaling stationary bicycle, which in turn generates electricity.

The bicycle generator was a big hit!

The bicycle generator was a big hit!

It take a lot of pedaling, however, to generate just a little bit of power but the kids got to experience first- hand how it takes energy of some sort to generate any other kind of energy or electricity.

Flipping a switch is not where power comes from, so these tools help kids to think about energy in new ways.

The fact that kids everywhere, according to Vanessa, always gravitate to the bicycle generator first made me laugh…. Because the wind turbine and the solar cells actually generate more power without using human effort, yet the kids were more impressed with the tiny bits of electricity they generated by pumping their little legs off.

There’s a message or a moral there somewhere, I’m sure….. Something to do with “Protestant work ethic” or something like that!

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