xNL: Netherlands (2019)

Cycle for Science Netherlands is coming your way in Fall 2019 in tandem with Cycle for Science New York as part of our first “Cycle for Science: GLOBAL” initiative! This will be the first international trip, AND the first Cycle for Science featuring not one but TWO female professors!


Cycle for Science Netherlands will expand upon our pilot Cycle for Science lesson, which teaches students about solar energy through a 3D-printed, solar-powered miniature bicycle called the Sol Cycle. The new feature of this lesson will incorporate materials physics and device challenges that Monica and Rebecca research in their laboratories at the University of Twente, and Rachel researches as part of her 2019 ThinkSwiss research fellowship at EPFL. We will have an activity where students assemble their own dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) using very simple ingredients: raspberries, pencils (graphite), titanium dioxide paste (what’s in mineral sunscreen), an electrolyte solution. Although these are very low efficiency cells, their development has paved the way for perovskite photovoltaics (PV) and their simplicity allows for a safe interactive lesson. With two generous donations from EPFL’s PV-Lab and hi-Lyte Power, we will compare the properties of our DSSCs with a variety of other Si and thin film cells, both commercial and research modules, and then have students test some of these cells using multimeters and the Sol Cycle. This comparison will give a sense of the materials challenges required to make a high performing solar cell. We will use this hands-on activity as a launching point to discuss real-world challenges of PV, including grid integration, and the need for energy storage.

A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) device schematic, materials we’ll be using for the lesson, the lesson in action, and an array of DSSCs in action.

A dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC) device schematic, materials we’ll be using for the lesson, the lesson in action, and an array of DSSCs in action.


During our first international trip, co-founder Rachel Woods-Robinson will be joined by two female professors (!), Prof. Monica Morales Masis and Prof. Rebecca Saive from University of Twente in the Netherlands, as well as mathematician Lennart Bastian.

Tentative route

This trip will start at the Netherlands’ eastern border with Germany, and our team of sci-clists will traverse the entire country to ride from the east border to the Atlantic Ocean. Here is a sketch of our route:


Join us!

Are you an early career scientist living nearby, and interested in joining this trip? Please reach out to us at wecycleforscience@gmail.com for more information.


Are you interested in sponsoring this trip? We are looking for monetary donations to cover lesson materials, as well as food and lodging for the sci-clists. We are also looking for organizations to donate solar panels, 3D printing material, motors, and other electronic parts. We will add your logo to our website and our merchandise in return! Please reach out to us at wecycleforscience@gmail.com if you are interested.