Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Electric Lemons!

I must admit that I thought we were going to have to call this one a failure. But then our fabulous and hugely intelligent Daddy came home and switched the wires around (that whole positive/negative thing really is important) and it worked!!

I found the little battery powered clock at Target last week and Sprout was desperate to try to make this Lemon-Powered Clock from her Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Things to Do.

The additional shopping list: Electrician's clips, copper wire, 2 galvanized nails, 2 lemons.

We had fun finding our way around the local hardware store. Sprout kept saying "We need galvanized nails, galvanized nails..." As if they would be sparkling with magic or something... I think she was disappointed when we found them. Plain old nails.

Total spent at the hardware store was $2.56.

Quick stop the grocery store for lemons and we were all set. Stripping the ends of the wires was the hardest part. Sticking the nails into the lemons, the most exciting, apparently.

So the idea here is:
  1. A wire from one side of the battery compartment of the clock to a lemon (the wire is actually stuck into the lemon)
  2. A nail is stuck in the other end of that lemon and a wire is clamped to the nail and then stuck into the second lemon.
  3. A third wire goes from a nail in the second lemon to the other side of the battery compartment of the clock.
We had to take the clock apart (another exciting step) to get places to clip the wire onto the battery contacts.

All too technical for me. Something about the zinc from the nails dissolving in the acid of the lemons...electrons flowing...

But anyway - if you get it right - voila - electricity! From lemons!

How totally cool is THAT??

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