Energypalooza: So Nice, We Did It Twice

Jul 29 2016

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SCARCE, the Illinois Solar Energy Association, Citizens Utility Board, Partners for Clean Air, and ComEd collaborated to bring two Energypalooza fun fairs to Wild Wednesdays at Cantigny Park in July.  Guests of all ages came out to learn through interactive activities about energy, efficiency, and green energy sources. Kids got an Energypalooza Treasure Map to guide them around the fair to earn a prize. Take a tour!

Energy Bike at Energypalooza 2016Pedal Power
Our Energy Bike was as popular as ever! Both children and adults hopped on the bike and tried their best to light up different types of bulbs. Everyone was amazed to learn the incredible amount of energy (and perspiration) it took to light up one old fashioned incandescent bulb, compared to the one easy pedal for all four of the LED lights to shine brightly. Time to refuel!



Solar Central at Energypalooza 2016

Solar Central
Step right up to the ISEA mini-solar house for some solar-powered popcorn! This solar house is outfitted with 2 arrays of solar panels and a smart meter to educate homeowners about the benefits of the smart grid for alternative energy. Using the energy from the sun, the house’s solar panels pumped some jams from the radio and powered our electric popcorn popper – much to the delight of our guests!

Solar Oven, Energypalooza 2016

The solar oven sun-bakes a batch of cookies.

Jean from the SCARCE team used our small solar oven to crank out 5 batches of sun-baked chocolate chip cookies on day 2 – no electricity needed!






Chutes and ladders 2, Energypalooza 2016

Playing a round of Oil Slicks & Vines

Game On!
The Oil Slicks & Vines game (Chutes & Ladders with an environmental twist) kept kids on their toes as they navigated the board. SCARCE Staff guided kids through the life-sized game and gave them tips on how to be more energy efficient.




Electric Playdough, Energypalooza 2016

Electric Playdough Fun

Squishy Circuits
Electric Playdough got everyone’s attention.  We taught young and old how to create a circuit using battery packs, special playdough, and mini LED bulbs. They knew they succeeded if their mini LED bulb lit up when placed in the dough.


The SCARCE Recycled Papermaking booth taught visitors that not only does recycling save resources such as trees – it also saves tons of energy. Visitors learned how to create recycled paper using streamers, squares of (ahem, fresh) recycled toilet paper, water and their own hands. Homemade pinwheels were available for youngsters to color and get an intro to wind energy.


Both visitors and the SCARCE team had an enlightening experience at our Energypalooza!  If you missed it this year, keep your eye on our calendar for next summer.  Who knows what new and exciting activities we will have!

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