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Middle School Girls Participate in 2018 Energy Bike Project

By Kelly on  June 20, 2018

7th grade girls from three Northeast Ohio middle schools participated in the NOPEC Energy Bike Project: Activating and Energizing Girls in Science (AEGIS) this past week. The students spent two days building a working energy bike that was then donated to their schools to use in their energy science curricula and share with organizations in their communities. “Increasing awareness of energy conservation and the advantages of energy-efficiency is an important part of NOPEC’s mission to give back to our member communities in a way that can benefit them for years to come. The Energy Bike Project provides NOPEC the opportunity to share this message while educating and empowering the energy decision-makers of the future," said NOPEC's executive director Chuck Keiper. _MG_0976

During the event, the students first learned the mechanics of the energy bike through educational materials provided by NOPEC. The girls then applied their knowledge by assembling and wiring the bikes, so that the energy produced by peddling the bikes could power various light bulbs, radios, fans and hair dryers. They also participated in a variety of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) related games and activities. NOPEC provided the funding and support necessary to bring this program to Northeast Ohio, as well as provided all materials necessary to learn about and build the bikes. “One goal is that we really want girls to understand they are capable of doing many things they might not have thought they were able to do. We also want to open their eyes to what a science career might look like for them. We hope that giving them this brief introduction to some new skills helps spur them to think about careers in the sciences down the road.” IMG_1660

The event also helped students to continue to develop interpersonal skills such as teamwork, perseverance and cooperation. Sofia, a rising eighth grader at Olmsted Falls Middle School told us something she took away from the project, and her hopes for other girls her age. “You get a lot more confidence doing activities like this. I encourage girls to follow their heart and pursue a career that they want.” Watching the students’ progression on wiring the energy boards, and seeing them go through different emotions throughout the process made it really exciting to see their final products! Hazel, a 7th grader from West Geauga Middle School described the feeling of seeing the bike work and power the light bulbs as both “relieving and rewarding”. Upon completion of The Energy Bike Project on June 14th there was a celebration event where the students performed informative skits that demonstrated the knowledge and skills learned during the program and were awarded with participation medals.

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