Former teacher and personal trainer Adam Boesel wants to bridge the gap between learning and exercise. Founder of The Green Micro Gym, Boesel designs eco-friendly electricity-generating bicycles for gyms and schools. His latest project is the Green Microcycle, designed specifically for use in classrooms.
Fast Company's Co.Exist reports that "Read and Ride" programs have become increasingly popular in recent years. Many educators believe that allowing children to pedal stationary bikes as they study helps them focus, and one analysis found that students who spent time reading on bikes had higher proficiency scores than others. While adding stationary bikes to classrooms shouldn’t be viewed as a substitute for recess or outdoor exercise, Read and Ride programs could help some students stay focused, and pedal out their excess energy or frustration during class time.
While classroom stationary bikes—and other initiatives, like classroom standing desks—have started to become more common, Boesel’s brand new Green Microcycle is unique in that its educational benefits are twofold. In addition to providing an active space for children to exercise and read, Boesel hopes the Microcycle will serve as a science and technology teaching tool. The Microcycle, which can be used to generate electricity for school buildings or individual devices by pedaling, will also come equipped with small screens that show how much electricity riders are generating. Boesel hopes teachers will be able to incorporate the bikes into their teaching programs, using them as a hands-on way to learn about concepts like electricity and inertia.
Boesel will soon install the first 26 Microcycles at an elementary school in Michigan. “The program, called Green Read and Ride, is designed to achieve the triple objective of improving reading, increasing physical activity and fitness, and for getting kids interested in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) elements underlying the bicycle’s construction and purpose,” he writes on his website.
Though the bikes haven’t hit the market yet, Boesel already sees the project as a success, noting that the microcycle has gotten his five-year-old son to exercise voluntarily at home. "He just jumps on there a lot," he told Fast Company. "Sometimes he's just absentmindedly pedaling and talking. Most of the time he has his iPad. He's on [the bike] all the time. As opposed to where he used to be, which was on the couch, hunched over ... It's nice to have him moving around more."
Check out a prototype of the microcycle in the video below.
[h/t Fast Company]