BikeGenerated Smoothies

In 2023/2024, we developed our UNESCO project from last year, Let It Be Light in 3 distinct ways:

  1. Simplifying circuitry
  2. Emphasizing student awareness of the generation of electricity
  3. Making the installation available for school-external presentations


  1. Simplifying circuitry for improved overview

Our project technician, Franz Gaballier, soldered the components into a specially ordered electrical board. Doing this demonstratively improves both the overview of the circuitry as well as the durability of the system to better withstand transportation.


  1. Emphasizing student awareness of the generation of electricity

To help students better understand how much power is needed to generated electricity, we decided to provide a concrete, tangible situation that all students can related to: using a blender to mix a fruit smoothie. Charging a normal mobile phone would require roughly an hour of pedal time, which is untenable in normal classroom situations. However, a 15 second burst of mixing requires roughly 1 minute of pedaling, which is utterly doable in class, when everything is well prepared in advance.

An attached multimeter allows students to see not only how many amps they can generate, but also the current amp usage by the system in default when no one is pedaling, as well as the actual transition from negative default to positive amp generation, according to the intensity of their pedaling. Fortunately, Franz was able to program the resistance to prevent excessive pedaling intensity by over-enthusiastic students.

We can tell young people about the real need to reduce electrical usage (“Turn the lights off!”). We can recite facts, figure, numbers, show them graphs, visuals, and documentaries about how coal- and nuclear-power plants produce electricity so cheaply that they take it for granted; it will not noticeably affect how they act. But when they feel how much muscle-power is needed to generated the small amount of electricity needed to power a mini blender for 15 seconds, then they feel it and realize the meaning behind the words “save energy”.

The fruit smoothie inevitably tastes even more delicious when you have made it yourself, in this case also literally in the sense of electrical generation.


  1. Making the installation available for external presentations

On January 29, 2024, we transported the BikeGen to a neighboring school, Schulschwestern Gymnasium, where it was presented to several Physics classes of Year 7 students.

The students received theoretical input from their Physics teachers.

The following is their review:

Physik zum Anfassen: Fahrräder als Smoothie-Generatoren

Im Zuge des Physikunterrichts bot sich den Schülerinnen und Schülern des naturwissenschaftlichen Zweigs dank der Zusammenarbeit mit Herrn Wardell vom Bundesgymnasium GIBS eine einzigartige Gelegenheit: Die Umwandlung von Bewegungsenergie eines Fahrrads in elektrische Energie. Ihre Aufgabe bestand darin, kontinuierlich in die Pedale des Rades zu treten, bis genügend Energie für den Betrieb eines Mixers zur Verfügung stand. Im Anschluss konnten sie mithilfe dieser Energie ihre eigenen individuellen Smoothies zubereiten.

Unsere SchülerInnen fanden die Stunde sehr interessant und vor allem da sie praktisch arbeiten konnten. Die Umsetzung mit dem Smoothie ist sehr gut angekommen. Der Aufbau und der Transport zahlen sich auf jeden Fall aus.

Florian Horn, MEd und Mag. Elke Scherr


A group of Year 7 students will continue to present the BikeGen internally for all of our students during our summer party.

Mag. Shannon Wardell

Visual Arts

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