Electric Lemon - FamilyEducation

Electric Lemon

by Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book

This science activity uses a lemon, a paper clip, and some copper wire to demonstrate a battery's function.


This activity demonstrates how batteries generate electricity.

Materials

  • Metal paper clip
  • Lemon
  • Length of copper wire

Directions

  1. Have your child straighten the paper clip and insert one end into the lemon.
  2. Remove any insulation from both ends of the copper wire and insert one end into the lemon.
  3. Hold the exposed ends of the paper clip and the wire and touch both of them to your tongue at the same time. You'll feel a tingling sensation caused by electricity.
  4. How does this work? You've created an electric battery. A battery needs two kinds of metal plus an acid.
  5. The paper clip and wire provide the metals, and the lemon provides citric acid.
  6. Water conducts electricity, so your wet tongue completes the electric circuit when you touch the wires to it.

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