Is it possible to use only a copper strip, zinc strip, two wires, and a potato to power a clock? Today the amazing ASU team helped us prove that YES you can! Students worked in small groups to assemble a circuit using the metal strips and potatoes to make a simple battery that created the electricity needed to operate a clock. Each potato worked as a device called a electrochemical cell. It converted the chemical energy stored in the metal strips into electrical energy. A cell works because of the chemical properties of the metals inside. The different properties cause tiny particle charged with electricity (called ions) to move between the two strips of metal. (find their "happy place"). This flow is an electric current. The potato contains the particles that allow the current to flow, but it stops the metals touching. Electric current also flows along the wires between the zinc and copper strips and the clock. This current makes the clock work! Our creative students didn't stop at just potatoes though! They experimented with lemons, salt water, and soda as well. Check out this great video on how batteries work. Can you make the connection to solar cells?
Please create a post about what your team experimented with. Did it work? What conclusions did you make based on your results? Thank you again to the wonderful team at ASU for providing all of the materials and expertise today! Great job to everyone in STEM today, Science ROCKS!