We had a great time with Quail Run Elementary School at their recent school dance. We brought DJ Thiago, a bumpin’ sound system, laser light show, bubble blasters, our custom Peace & Love LED banner, and 4 of our Pro generators, sized for kids.
We ran things a different from normal and it seemed to make for a better dance. The normal way is to have all bikes connected electrically on a single team. Then we coach the riders to look at the Pedalometer and ‘keep it in the green’. When the Pedalometer is in the green, the system voltage is ideal and all devices run.
This time we didn’t do a team approach. The 4 bikes were lined up next to each other, so it felt like a team, but each was powering its own device: loudspeaker, Peace & Love banner, Lasers / black light, and bubbles / lasers. This seemed to increase engagement as the students wanted to try pedaling all of the bikes.
The rationale for a team approach has been that it makes for a more stable performance. In the context of an elementary school dance, the opposite may be more valuable. Sure, the lights and speakers do turn on and off a lot more, and this could be seen as more chaotic, but kids want to know what they’re powering. So when you tell them you’re powering that light, they get into it.
The sound at a dance is in a different category from lights. It affects everyone if the sound turns on and off a lot. To address this we showed up with a massive battery bank capable of running the DJ gear and sound system all night. We used the always-on power for one of the two Mackie DRM215 loudspeakers. This way the sound never turned off, but it got better when kids pedaled the other speaker. We also had a coach focused on that bike, an Off The Wall Pro generator, and we tried to encourage only bigger kids to pedal it, and challenged them to pedal a whole song, or pedal till then end of the song.
The laser show is surprisingly impressive for the wattage it consumes. One kid can do it! Also the bubble blaster generates a lot of bubbles for how much power it consumes. In general we aim to provide kids with inspiring examples of Pedal Power, like these, so that the message comes through that they are powerful, that their bodies are powerful.