Bloomington High School South students learn about sustainable energy, one step at a time

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (May 13, 2015)-- Step by step, students at Bloomington High School South make kinetic energy by walking through the hallways and stepping onto special high tech tiles which harness and convert their footsteps into a sustainable energy source.

Bloomington High School South is the only public institution with these energy efficient tiles in the United States.

“When you step onto the tiles and release your foot, the kinetic movement of the tile compressing and releasing powers a generator within the tile. That electricity is transferred through a wire that runs through the ceiling to our boards which will light up simply from your power,” said Amanda Figola, a science teacher at Bloomington High School South.

The technology flooring is manufactured by Pave Gen, a company based in London that makes special floor boards that change wasted kinetic energy into a renewable resource. The idea to bring Pave Gen to Indiana started inside Bloomington High School South during an AP environmental science class.

The students applied for a $24,000 grant, which was funded by Duke Energy and the Raymond Foundation. That money bought one hallway's worth of Pave Gen flooring. The amount of tiles at Bloomington High School South may not produce a huge amount of energy, but it allows students to experience an interactive approach to learning science.

Bloomington High School South staff and students hope this technology will teach everyone about the importance of energy conservation.

“Our exhibit is primarily to educate and to give kids something tangible to work with in terms of energy technology. The hope is that once we see the data it is possible that we could connect to our electrical grid and produce power for our grid,” said Figola.