How much effort does it take to generate electricity by pedaling a bicycle? More than you would think.
A steady stream of volunteers jumped on a special bike on the lawn at the UAF Arctic Research Open House and gave it a go. A small crowd cheered on each cyclist. It was fun and educational at the same time.
This was just one of a multitude of interactive activities Thursday spread across the upper campus, featuring more than a dozen UAF research groups and colleges. This year’s theme was “It’s an inspiring day in the neighborhood.”
From the college of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences to the National Weather Service, the Institute of Arctic Biology, the International Arctic Research Center, and more, there was something for everyone.
At one booth, kids learned about the different stages of green-up — from dormant, to swelling, to bud burst to leaf out — and why branches on a south slope open their buds sooner than those with northern exposure. When the breeze died down, kids could even use shaving cream to simulate cumulus clouds.
In another building, youngsters could stand in front of a giant screen and pilot an unmanned drone, through the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration.
There was almost too much to see in the three-hour window for the open house. The in-person open house had been on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was clear by the steady stream of families attending that the community welcomed its return.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her at Twitter.com/FDNMKris.