By combining movement, education, and energy production, these pedal generators could be a great green classroom (or playroom) accessory.
Although we haven't covered anything recently about Adam Boesel, the creator of the Green Microgym, he hasn't been sitting back on his pedal-powered laurels, as he's been continuing to work on his version of a reliable, affordable, and robust bicycle generator system that can combine exercise and power production. And the latest from Adam is an innovative tie-in between his UpCycle Ecocharger bikes and an education program, specifically a focus on reading and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics, through a 'Green Read and Ride' project at a Michigan elementary school.
The Green Microcycles, as Adam calls them, for this school project will include not just the bicycle, with its flywheel, generator, power meter display, and grid-tie inverter, but will also feature a front-mounted book or tablet holder, which will allow students to produce their own electricity, get exercise, and get their reading time in at the same time. According to his site, this newest version of the UpCycle Ecocharger came about as the result of a partnership between a physician, a community foundation, and the elementary school, and is intended to "help bridge the gap between learning and exercise."
"The program, called Green Read and Ride, is designed to achieve the triple objective of improving reading, increasing physical activity and fitness, and for getting kids interested in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) elements underlying the bicycle’s construction and purpose.
We aren’t just shooting arrows in the dark here either. Research shows that Read and Ride programs increase reading proficiency in elementary school students. We wanted to take it further, though. Adding my custom Green Microcycle to a traditional Read and Ride program, we can get kids to exercise, learn about STEM topics, increase reading proficiency, AND produce electricity!" - The Green Microgym
The school will be taking delivery of 26 of these Green Microcycles later this year, and right now, Adam is offering a 20% off deal for anyone looking to get in on this pedal-powered revolution, either for a school or for at home, which brings the price down from $2000 to $1600 each. Here's a quick look at one of them in operation at home, which seems like it could be a great addition for mitigating or trading for screen time for kids ("You can watch a video as long as you keep pedaling.")
Along with the complete Green Microcycle, Adam also offers the generator as a DIY kit, which includes the generator, flywheel, and bike stand, and which can be attached to most single-speed and multi-speed bikes, and is working on some off-grid options (which require a battery, inverter, and charge controller), as well as a pedal workstation (think laptop), so if you'd like to stay in the loop on these products, subscribe to updates at The Green Microgym.