When your kiddo comes home with news that it is science fair time at school a quick, easy, and educational option is the lemon battery.
Make a Lemon Battery
What You’ll Need:
- 4 lemons
- 4 galvanized nails
- 4 pieces of copper
- 5 aligator clip wires
- A small light to power up
- Check with a grown-up before you begin.
- First, attach one of the paperclips to a wire.
- Then attach a penny to a second wire.
- Attach another penny to one end of the third wire, and a paperclip to the other end.
- Squeeze and roll two lemons to loosen the pulp inside.
- Make two small cuts in the skins of both lemons an inch or so apart.
- Put the paper clip that is attached to the wire and the penny into one of the cuts until you get to the juicy part of the lemon.
- Stick the penny into a hole in the other lemon.
- Put the other paper clip into the second hole of the lemon with the penny.
- Then put the last penny into the last open hole.
- Connect the free ends of the wires to the terminals of the digital clock.
- Watch how the lemons make enough electricity to turn the clock on. If you’ve hooked everything up and the clock isn’t running, try switching the wires.
- Here’s how this lemon battery works. There’s a chemical reaction between the steel in the paper clip and the lemon juice. There’s also a chemical reaction between the copper in the penny and the lemon juice. These two chemical reactions push electrons through the wires.
- Because the two metals are different, the electrons get pushed harder in one direction than the other. If the metals were the same, the push would be equal and no electrons would flow. The electrons flow in one direction around in a circle and then come back to the lemon battery. While they flow through the clock, they make it work. This flow is called electric current.
- This is hard to understand. So, if you need it explained to you again, be sure to talk to a parent or a teacher.