Playground Concept Teaches Clean Energy

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.

Natural Energy Park

image via You Song Young, Jin Soo Yeon, Ahn Ho Sang, and Lee Sung Jae/Tuvie

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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  • Reply April 7, 2011

    Jessica Janes

    This is the reality of the world. Hopefully this will spark more innovation. It is a great idea.

  • Reply April 11, 2011

    Michelle Mayans

    This is so wonderful! Why can’t all schools adopt this model?

  • Reply April 12, 2011

    Lyn Grotke

    Put one at every school in America!!

  • Reply April 12, 2011

    Lyn Grotke

    Put one at every American elementary school – promotes science and healthy play! Love it.

  • Reply April 13, 2011


    I love this! Educational and fun, Every school needs one.

  • Reply May 17, 2011


    u00a0@facebook-1494710150:disqusu00a0I totally agree with you. It promotes science and at the same time a health living. See how advantageous solar power is?nnGreat post.

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