PowerUp is a series created by KoKoNYC where kids develop engineering skills while learning about environmental sustainability through hands-on design and building projects.




Recycled Materials

Old bicycles





(GRADES 3-5)

Learn how scientific inventions like windmills and heating systems work by making models out of recycled bottles and cans with our Science Master!


In this 8-week workshop, kids generated power with their own kinetic energy!  Participants learned about science while we they exercised and transformed old bicycles into machines that can power light bulbs and other small appliances.  In the process of creating our bike generators they learned how motors and generators work and the science of electric currents, circuits, and magnetic fields.  Depending on the fitness of the builders we got some volts out of their energy![/vc_column_text]



For Mid-Winter Break 2016, Koko presented the first week-long workshop in our Power Up series!  In Power Up: Greenhouse, our group used recycled plastic bottles to make a walk-in greenhouse that was housed in the Old Stone House garden. Students designed and constructed their own miniature greenhouses to take home. But these were not your ordinary greenhouses. While they will were completely functional -raising the temperature inside 10 degrees F – our plant homes were also objects of art and beauty. We learned about how greenhouses work and looked at different kinds of architecture for inspiration. We then put on our engineering hats and drew out blueprints before building our greenhouses from a variety of recycled materials. Once our greenhouses were complete, we added plants that can grow inside them throughout the winter. We also a took a field trip to SIMS Recycling Center in Sunset Park to learn about how Brooklyn processes recycled materials.


Did you know that your recycling could generate renewable energy? In this special workshop, we learned all about sustainability by constructing a real solar panel made almost entirely out of empty aluminum cans! During this workshop we also took a field trip to the SIMS recycling plant to see what Brooklyn is doing to make the city greener.

Once we constructed our “heat collector”, we installed it on the roof of Open Source Gallery where acted as both a public artwork and a way to heat the gallery during the winter months.