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Solar Off the Roof at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY StreetFest

MG1A1126We had a great time at the New Museum’s IDEAS CITY StreetFest this past Saturday. We were demonstrating off-the-roof solar projects and giving kids hands-on lessons in the science behind solar photovoltaics: Photons knock electrons in the silicon panels loose, which starts up a negative electric current. That current flows through the wires embedded in the panel  to power a small motor. If you put it in the sun, the motor spins a rotor; if you block the sun, it stops. Light makes it go!


We also demonstrated some small solar chargers from Voltaic Systems and Goal Zero.


And we were honored by the lovely urban garden and estuary creatures from the Earth Celebrations Hudson River Pageant!


We were particularly delighted by the Oyster…


All in all, a gorgeous day and a wonderful StreetFest. We also enjoyed visiting with our friends at Fourth Arts Block, they had a great exhibit of sound sculptures made from recycled materials. They’re a little hard to see in this photo, but they were super-cool:


Fabric sculpture by Amanda Browder, be sure to check out the project she’s doing with FAB this summer.