Cambridge High School Students Design Pedal-Powered Juicer

William Kamkwamba might deserve the award for best use of a recycled bicycle, but a group of high school students at NuVu, an innovation-based magnet school in Cambridge, MA, could give him a run for his money. The students participated in a studio workshop called "Energy Computing Design: Music, Toys, Art, & Life Processes with Integrated Systems" taught by Ryan Wartena, a chemical engineer and CEO of GELI (Growing Energy Labs, Inc). The course was designed to provide students with a foundational understanding of energy responsibility, and to use design to produce a creative expression of Energy Computing.

Their final collaborative team-project is an eye-catching system that the students call a “Galactic Alignment Juicer” – it makes juice, plays music, and generates a mini-projected laser show. Constructed from a wooden table, a dissected juicer, re-wired speakers, an mp3 player, and two bicycle frames, the whole machine/system is almost self-sustaining in terms of energy use. The only energy input required is someone to pedal the bicycles; the pedaling then powers the speakers and juicer and charges a battery. The students argue that the calories burned by the peddlers are replenished by drinking the juice made – hence self-sustaining.

For anyone who’s interested (and in the Boston area) NuVu’s students will present their Galactic Juicer to the public on December 5 at a special exhibition at the MIT Museum in Cambridge.

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