Let's take a look at one of the most popular stations at STEAM Museum - the Bike Generator! Your kids (and even the adults!) will have a blast converting their energy into electricity at this exciting exhibit. Check it out!
Once the kids begin roaming the STEAM Museum, they always end up lining-up at the Bike Generator for their turn to illuminate the 11-foot tall tower of lights. It's not just "hands-on" - you've gotta put your whole body into it!
How it Works
Generators of all types work using a fairly simple principle: a changing magnetic field creates an electrical current in wire. This can be achieved in many different ways, but no matter the method, as long as a magnet moves around a coil of wire (or the wire moves around the magnet), electricity will be created.
The Bike Generator can be thought of as a more effecient hand-crank generator, which is kind of like a manual pencil sharpener. The pedal cranks of the bike are connected to a chain, which turns the big wheel of the bike.
Located at the center of the wheel is a disc filled with magnets and a coil of copper wire. When the wheel turns, it rotates the magnets around the coil of wire, creating electricity. This electricity is sent through a cable connected to the light tower, lighting more lights as more current is generated.
This same principle is what drives power plants, too! Wind and water generators work the same way, but instead of your feet or hands turning a crank, wind or rushing water do the hard work.
Can you think of other ways you could make a generator?
Check back again for more close looks at the various Stations of STEAM to see what you and your kids will be able to explore when you bring Mobile Ed's STEAM Museum to your school.
Ordering STEAM Museum couldn't be easier. You can call Mobile Ed directly at 800-433-7459 or click the button below to learn more about the program.