Playgrounds and play structures are meant to give children an outlet for their energy. In exchange for all of that energy, the kiddos get to have fun and, if you’re lucky, they might just get to bed on time. This playground, designed by You Song Young, Jin Soo Yeon, Ahn Ho Sang, and Lee Sung Jae, is a bit different in that it is designed to take kids’ energy and give something back in the form of education as well as entertainment. It’s part jungle gym, part science experiment and all about entry level lessons in the world of renewable energy. Hyundai engineering and construction calls it the “Natural Energy Park” and the concept landed the company a highly coveted Red Dot design award in the green category.
The Natural Energy Park converts various actions into energy that activates some portion of the playground. After climbing a ladder into a laboratory, kids can spin a wheel that will illuminate “Benjamin Franklin’s kite”. An optical illusion will spin at varying speeds as children adjust a solar panel to different angles. Pedaling a bicycle powers a pinwheel and illuminates lights around the structure.
There’s also a pedal-powered radio, a see-saw powered water-wheel, a pinhole camera, video-phone periscope and an airplane that “flies” based on magnetic levitation.
Through all of these interactive experiments, kids get introduced to the concepts behind using wind, water and sun as sources of energy as well as the notion of kinetic energy-all snuck in under the guise of fun.
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