I’m excitingly awaiting the arrival of this gift and holiday because I can’t wait to play with dirt! Don’t tell my son, yet. I keep wanting to learn more and think of hypotheses for solving future energy solutions.
Children can put together this device that measures the amount of electrons that soil bacteria are making. A little LED light flashes and they can use a mobile device to display the exact amount of energy being produced.
The main idea is to observe different sources of food get the bacteria to make more energy (perhaps leftovers or ketchup). This enables them to watch more of the story on their device. There are also learning guides available for free on the site to learn more about the science of the bacteria. This neat toy/science project is called MudWatt.
I also found a how stuff works website that talks about how regions with grid power can use this technology to light a light, charge a cellphone, and what it would take to run a fan (I’m assuming they are extrapolating and I hypothesize actual working area might perform differently if the bacteria do not create energy as a direct function of area, there may be other limiting factors, it could be made more efficient by going vertical with container design, or there may be ways to boost productivity exponentially.) >>