This week, we been having fun learning through educational STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) focused activities at home. This powered clock is a science activity that is suitable for aged 5 and above. I do find it difficult to explain to my children but they did get the gist of it!
To make life easier, rather than looking around for all the bits to build, we had this Lemon Clock kit provided by Great Gizmos for our Twitter party. If you want to get this kit, you can get it online such as from Amazon. If you prefer to make your own, you would need black and red wires, copper and zinc plates, LCD clock and tape.
This kit is simple to build but it is best to allow older children or an adult to build it as the bits are quite fragile.
Firstly, connect the red wire on the LCD clock to a copper plate and the black wire to a zinc plate. Secure the wires in place with adhesive tape. Get another copper plate and zinc plate and connect them with the connection wire using sticky tape. Insert the copper plates and zinc plates into the potato/lemon/carrot halves to activate the LCD clock. Voilà!
We tried this build with lemon, potato, carrot and even diet coke works! So how does it work? The copper plates act like the positive electrodes of a battery. They are plated with a metal which is less reactive than zinc. When the copper plates and zinc plates are inserted into the fruits, a chemical reaction takes place. Electrons move from the zinc plates to the copper plates to form a current, thus activating the LCD clock. The lemon/potato juice creates a small amount of voltage that helps to conduct electricity.
If you don’t have a clock, you could use a small LED light bulb instead! This is such an interesting science project and simple to do with children. But it is not easy for them to understand though!
Disclosure: We have received this kit as part of our Twitter party.