Making a lemon clock is a simple but really cool science experiment for kids to try at home. We have been having fun with lots of STEM activities to get ready for the #NickJrBlaze twitter party and this lemon clock experiment was a hit with the boys.
We used this kit from 4M which is much easier than hunting around for suitable wires and has everything included. You can re-use everything to experiment with different materials, like other fruits, making a potato clock or even trying the experiment out with fizzy drinks – and make a note of which material works the best.
Supplies needed to make a lemon clock
- 1 Lemon – cut into two halves
- LCD watch with two wires coming out
- 2 x copper plates
- 2 x zinc plates
- Connecting wire
- Adhesive tape
How to make a lemon powered clock
First, cut your lemon in half.
Attach your wires to the zinc and copper plates using adhesive tape. Attach the black wire from the LCD watch to the zinc plate and the red wire to the copper plate.
Then attach the remaining zinc and copper plate together using the connector wire.
Insert the ends of one copper plate and one zinc plate into each half of the lemon and you will see the clock start to power up!
The Science Behind The Activity : How Does a Lemon Clock Work
The powering of the lemon clock works by a process of electrolysis. The copper plates play the role of the positive electrodes of a battery, and the lemon itself plays the role of the battery.
When the copper and zinc plates are inserted into the lemon, a chemical reaction takes place where the electrons with a negative charge move from the zinc plates to the copper plate to form a current.
The juice of the lemon is an acidic electrolyte which is a liquid containing moving ions – allowing for this electric current to pass through.
Other fruits and materials to try
- Fizzy drinks
- Salt Water
For more STEM activities make sure that you’re following our STEM board on Pinterest
Find out more about Nick Jr’s Blaze and the Monster Machines, a new preschool show with a STEM focus.
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