We all know that teachers are looking for safe experiments they can do in their classrooms and keep the students interested and engaged. Here is a fun experiment you can do using an orange and a couple of common household items.
To demonstrate how an electrical current can be generated using citrus fruits such as lemons, limes or oranges that is strong enough to power a small LED light bulb.
Electrical current is the flow of electrons of an electrical charge and is measured using an ammeter. Solid conductive metals contain large population of free electrons, which are bound to the metal lattice and move around randomly due to thermal energy. When two terminals of a battery are connected via a wire, the free electrons of the conductor drift toward the positive terminal, making them the electrical current carrier within the conductor.
Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, grapefruits, or oranges.
1 Copper nail, approximately 2 inches in length
1 Galvanized zinc nail, about 2 inches in length
A holiday LED light, with enough wire to connect to the nails.
Estimated Experiment Time
5 to 10 minutes
1. Prepare your fruit by squeezing it on all sides with your hands. Make sure not to squeeze too tightly and break the skin! This will soften the fruit enough so that the juice inside are flowing.
2. Insert your nails into the fruit, approximately 2 inches apart from one another. The ends (sharp tips) of the nails should be in the center of the fruit, but not touching one another. Be careful not to pierce the nails through the opposite end of the fruit.
3. Remove the insulation around the bulb wires (the leads) so you can expose the wire underneath. You need to remove enough insulation so you can wrap the exposed wire around the nails.
4. Take one of the exposed wires and wrap it around the galvanized (zinc) nail. If the wire keeps slipping off, use some electrical tape or gator clips to keep it attached.
5. Wrap the other end of the wire around the copper nail.
6. When the second wire is attached to the copper nail, your bulb will light up!
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180 South “E” Street
Porterville, CA 93257