‘Run, don’t walk’: The school that gets pupils to generate electricity
Special floor tiles produce sustainable energy when pupils pound them
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 05 September 2013
In a reversal of normal classroom rules, students have been encouraged to run and jump around a corridor at a Kent school.
It’s because the corridor has been laid with special kinetic tiles and every footstep on them creates sustainable energy.
“The students really enjoyed trying to give them a right bashing –running around and jumping up and down on them , said Matthew Baxter, headmaster of the 1,200-pupil Simon Langton Boys’ Grammar School in Canterbury.
Over the period of a year, the energy expected to be generated from the 12m of tiles is expected to be enough to fully charge 853 mobile phones; power one mobile for two and a half years; keep a light bulb illuminated for more than two months or power an electric car to drive seven miles.
The tiles are the brainchild of Laurence Kemball-Cook, a former pupil at the school, who is now chief executive officer of his own company, Pavegen Systems.
“Imagine if children running, playing and walking in all schools in the UK could help power the lights in their school corridors or the applications in their classrooms.”
The tiles are on the route pupils take to their design and technology lessons and will hopefully concentrate their minds on issues such as promoting sustainable energy as they approach the classroom.
“What we’re doing here is something quite different and quite creative and innovative,” said Mr Baxter.
“We want to create the mathematicians, scientists and engineers of the future – not just teach the national curriculum and exam syllabuses. That’s not the kind of approach we want.
“Our students spend about a third of their time going outside and beyond the curriculum, looking at the kind of research they might be able to do in universities and beyond.”
Students who enrol at the school are encouraged to see their first year as the start of a 10-year course which ends with a university degree.
The tiles were originally piloted at the school and in the Science Museum – and also trialled at the Paris marathon and the Olympic Games – before their installation at Simon Langton.
During busy times at the school they are expected to generate a peak of about 100 watts of power.
They are not Laurence Kemball-Cook’s only invention – he is also renowned for developing a dance floor which can be used at music festivals.
It allows the dancers to charge their mobile phones while on the dance floor, something else which could appeal to the students of Simon Langton.
East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 5 WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...