Cyclists teach engineering, science at Learning Festival |

Cyclists teach engineering, science at Learning Festival

Teri Vance
Twins Thomas and Linda Bathgate, 8, learn about repairing a flat bicycle tire from Spokes America cyclist Maddie Hickman at the library on Monday.
Jim Grant / | Nevada Appeal

Luis Talamantes, 10, visited the Carson City Library on Monday and happened upon a Learning Festival, hosted by a group of students from Harvard, MIT, and Columbia, which is biking from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

Along the way, the seven students will stop at schools and libraries to host workshops — they are calling learning festivals — on science, technology, engineering and math.

Sam Green, is serving as the media officer for the group Spokes America 2014 and is a computer science student at Harvard.

“The field I’m studying is one of the fields that is changing the world right now,” Green said. “This is a very easy way for me to make a larger impact. To get a group of kids excited about being a part of that change is really appealing to me.”

Talamantes stopped at nearly all the stations set up in the library Monday afternoon, with a specific interest in a laser demonstration.

“I thought that was very good,” he said. “He didn’t rush me. He was really helpful and trying to help me understand. He was a wonderful listener.”

The team, made up of four women and three men, is biking across the United States in collaboration with “Teach for America” as part of an effort to rethink education. At each visit they will teach hands-on, project-oriented classes about circuits or about design and tools by taking apart bicycle parts and building something new.

“The classes where we learn the most are the ones where we actually touch the stuff we’re learning about,” said Evan Gatsman, who is studying computer science and sociology at Harvard. “We want to share that excitement.”

For more information about Spokes America 2014, visit

For more information about the Carson City Library, 900 N. Roop St., call 887-2244 or go to