Power Pop-Up 2020


For the last two years, University of Minnesota students in the course “Power Systems Journey: Making the Invisible Visible and Actionable” have engaged with the Bell Museum to present Power Pop-up exhibits. These Power Pop-ups engaged Bell visitors in a variety of energy-related activities designed for all age groups, which invited them to discover the energy world and the “invisible” power grid all around them.


This year, we are thrilled to offer the Power Systems Journey Power Pop-up in a new format … online. The university students are excited for the opportunity to share their insights and creativity through these videos and activities. We hope that you enjoy them and that they will encourage you to take your own energy journey to make the invisible energy system visible.

We’d love to see your completed projects! Post your pictures and tell the students about what you’ve learned.

You can also learn more about the work of students in the Power Systems Journey Course

Energy-Related Activities

  • Connecting the Grid

    Connecting the Grid

    Created by University of Minnesota students: Kayla Lehtola, Amera Poppen, Samuel Hansen

    Play a game to connect the electrical grid! You’ll create a hand-drawn grid and try to connect various points together using as few lines as possible. There are three levels available in this game, each with their own grid board. The objective is always the same, but as the grid expands and additional requirements are added, the difficulty increases.

  • Electricity is Current

    Electricity is Current

    Created by University of Minnesota students: George Thao, Benjamin Alva, Adam Cahn

    Learn about the different types of electricity. Begin with a short experiment where you create static electricity and use it to lift an object. Then, search around the house for objects powered by batteries or appliances plugged into the wall. You’ll compare each type of electricity and learn more about what each is used for. You can view a video of the activity here.

  • Making a Penny Battery

    Making a Penny Battery

    Created by University of Minnesota students: Jack Zwettler, Nicole Peterson, Beka Deme, Al Mandhar Al Mairiki

    You’ll need an adult to help you with this project to make your own battery. Newer pennies, cardboard, and vinegar all come together to create a simple galvanic cell that can light up an LED. Along the way, you’ll learn how each of the components make the battery work.

  • Where Does Energy Come From?

    Where Does Energy Come From?

    Created by University of Minnesota students: Mohamed Mohamed, Mohammed Al Kindi, Mohanned Almadani

    This video explores energy sources and how Minnesota can use solar and wind energy. Stay tuned until the end for a demonstration of a solar panel in action.

  • Energy Treasure Hunt

    Energy Treasure Hunt

    Created by University of Minnesota students: Zhiming Feng, Zoë Foster, Trinity Ek

    Grab an adult and get ready to search around your home for energy! You and your adult guide will hunt for outlets, a breaker box, and power switches and sketch what you find. You’ll learn fun facts about everything you find along the way.