Madison Children's Museum
Making the WilderNest | Water Exhibits | Hodge Podge Mahal | Tinkerer's Workshop | Roof Top | Log Cabin
The Roof Garden
Lou had made friends with noted Wisconsin sculptor Tom Every, AKA Doctor Evermore, during his work on the Sid Boyum sculpture project. So he was a natural choice to come along on visits to the good Doctor when the Museum decided to consider commissioning a major piece for "prow" of the Roof Garden. The sculptor was thrilled at the prospect of so prominent a site overlooking the State Capitol.
The Solar Chicken
With little time before opening day, we learned that local utility Madison Gas & Electric would donate a sizable solar array if the Museum could devise an exhibit that could somehow illustrate the concept of solar energy to children, even though the panels were on a roof that they wouldn't be abe to see. We worked with Kevin Little of Informing Ecological Design, LLC to develop his notion of a chicken laying an egg every few moments ~ this because the exhibit would be placed close by the real chicken coop on the roof.
The hen sits at her coop, it's little roof filled with visible solar panels. She lays small golden eggs ~ several each minute in bright sun. The eggs roll down a tube and collect in a wire basket, over 900 on a sunny day. Kevin Little's software/hardware combo keeps an accurate count of the kilowatt-hours captured by the photovoltaic panels.
(at left) Concept drawing for the Solar Chicken.
Of course the Solar Chicken clucks at each egg to announce the event, thanks to internal electronics devised by artist/electrical genius Chris Murphy and his Paleo-Electronics.
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