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When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Power!

They say, when life throws you lemons, make lemonade. But, what about lemon power?! This mighty citrus fruit can turn into a lemon battery and even turn on a light! Try by making your own lemon battery.

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Plan

  • Where can you find the required materials?
  • What are some different types of batteries? How many batteries do certain items need?
  • What do you already know about how batteries work?

Do

  • Complete the experiment to see if you’ve created enough electricity
  • Instructions:
    • At one end of each lemon, insert a nail. At the other end of each lemon, insert a copper piece
    • Connect each lemon in series using the wires. Each wire should go from a nail in one lemon, to a piece of copper in a different lemon.
    • Connect the unattached piece of copper to the positive connection on the light. Connect the unattached nail to the open negative connection on the light
    • If the light has a switch, turn it on now to see the electricity you’ve created

Review

  • How does this electrical circuit work?
  • Why were two different types of metal used?
  • What do you think will happen if you keep the light on?
  • Why do you think that four lemons were used? What would happen if more or fewer lemons were used?
  • How is this lemon battery similar or different to real batteries?

Materials

  • 4 lemons
  • 4 galvanized nails
  • 4 pieces of copper
  • 5 alligator clip wires
  • A small light to power up

Keep it Simple

  • Try finding all the toys in your house that run on batteries. What did we use before we had batteries? Try some games that don't have batteries, such as Victorian hoop and pole game.

Take it Further