Wheels are turning in the Fitness and Athletics Center–and they charge your phone! On November 8, Alice Morrison ’24 unveiled a bike-powered charging station sponsored by the George School Green Initiative Contest, which she won in the spring of 2023.
Alice’s main goal was to provide “an alternative and renewable source of power for the FAC that pulls athletics and environmental awareness together in a way that educates community members on the inventive and sustainable ways we can complete everyday tasks, such as charging our phones.”
“Every time someone uses this bike in their workout or stops for five minutes to ride, they make a positive impact in the fight for renewable energy, and create long lasting change for the George School community,” Alice said.
The energy bike, manufactured by Rock the Bike, reduces electrical consumption on campus by allowing users to charge devices while getting exercise at the same time. As you pedal, energy is converted from the generator on the bike and turned into power!
Pedal for Power was inspired greatly by Alice’s extracurricular interests here at George School. In addition to spending many hours at the FAC while being on three sports teams, she is the co-leader of the Climate Action Club, where she organizes protests, fundraisers, and other events to encourage environmental sustainability at George School and the local community.
“I was in the gym one day and as I looked around at the exercise bikes, I was reminded of a concert I attended in the summer where bikes and a kinetic energy floor in the audience helped to power the show,” Alice explained. “With the amount of students, faculty, and staff that use the gym every day, I thought about how much power we could help to generate just by working out.”
The Green Initiative Contest is held bi-yearly and is led by Director of Physical Plant Robert Kleimenhagen Jr. and the Environmental Stewardship Oversight Committee (ESOC). It was created to encourage George School students to develop proposals for improving environmental awareness and enhancing environmental education on the George School Campus.
“When I proposed my ‘final’ idea to the ESOC committee it consisted of a rewired stationary bike connected to a solar charge converter (the converter that’s used for solar panels on houses) and a generator that would create accessible power for phones, TV’s, and laptops,” she continued.
After her winning pitch was selected by the ESOC committee last spring, Alice went straight to work with Physical Plant Project Manager Marlin Stroh to implement the project. After thoughtful research, the team decided to purchase a pre-assembled bike that incorporated all of Alice’s design ideas in a safe and sustainable way.
“She was fully engaged from start to finish, and I enjoyed seeing how her original concept changed to the final product,” Marlin explained. “Her continued research found a viable solution to bring this equipment to campus.”
Students and community members are welcome to take the bike for a spin, and even win prizes for their participation! In partnership with the Climate Action Club, athletic teams and individuals can track their time generating energy on a QR code located next to the bike to be in the running.
“I hope that even just passing by it encourages people to stop and think about the impact they have on the environment,” said Alice. “We all have the power to make a difference, even if it is small.”
About ESOC at George School: The Environmental Stewardship Oversight Committee meets quarterly throughout the year continually moving toward a position of leadership in the area of environmental sustainability. Areas of focus include construction and renovation projects, student and faculty initiatives, and working closely with the Physical Plant Committee to incorporate best practices related to energy efficiency by ensuring increased visibility in our internal and external communications as well as drawing from the expertise of alumni and community.