Many students in the U.S. have gone back to school, but summer temperatures haven’t gone anywhere.
Hot days make for stuffy classrooms, and that can make it hard to learn.
But going outside to the scorching hot asphalt playgrounds isn’t much better.
A school near Atlanta is demonstrating one partial solution, and it’s as simple as getting a fresh coat of paint.
Fast Company reported recently on SAE School’s project to cover their playgrounds with a coat of solar-reflective paint.
The black asphalt surfaces were suddenly blue, red and tan.
It’s certainly more colorful, but more importantly, it’s more comfortable: the paint helps lower the temperature on the playground.
Uncovered asphalt essentially absorbs a great deal of heat, so even if the air temperature is only 75 or 80 degrees, the surface temperature on the playground can get as high as 120 or 130 degrees.
In urban areas, where there can be a lot of asphalt, all that extra heat can be dangerous.
The paint, made by Streetbond, helps steer the heat away from the asphalt.
At SAE School, the surface temperature on the painted playground was 12 degrees cooler than the UNpainted playground.
That’s good for students.
And, it turns out, it’s good for the asphalt, since high heat can cause it to degrade.
Though it will mean a vocabulary change at the school.
If their playground is blue, red and tan now, they can’t exactly call it blacktop anymore.
This Saturday is National Bunny Day.
In southern California you’ll find the Bunny Museum, which not only features a huge collection of rabbit-themed art and memorabilia, it looks at all the ways these little hoppers have shown up in our culture, from how we sweep up dust bunnies to the rabbit ear antennas on TVs.
Sounds like a hare-raising experience.
Thanks to an innovative new paint, this school’s playground just got 12 degrees cooler (Fast Company)
LA’s Bunny Museum will redline your rabbit-o-meter (Boing Boing)
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Photo by sgrace via Flickr/Creative Commons