From Waste to Watts: Converting Student Movement into Usable Electricity
Exploring the education sector as a system of energy production and consumption, in the context of current energy scarcity and an increasingly climate aware world, my project aims to offer an alternative solution to electrifying our schools. My proposed designs are retrofitted objects, furniture and school facilities that capitalise on everyday movement and behaviours of students and staff within the school, in the form of mechanical, kinetic and sound energy. These retrofits enable the other-wise wasted energy exercised on these objects to be turned into usable electricity to power lamps, electrical appliances and stored in batteries.
In addition to being an environmentally driven project, it aims to make schools a more inclusive space, especially for students with hyperactivity. Fidgeting is no longer discouraged, as this motion exercised on a foot pedal (placed under each chair), powers a lamp in the classroom. As much as it is a practical project, it is also a conceptual one as it intends to give new meanings to everyday behaviours and objects and ask important questions regarding the future of energy and its ethical, political and social implications on the world. Additionally, these objects will be part of an enhanced curriculum, teaching students about small, tangible everyday actions that can be part of the wider goal of a sustainable future.