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Lemon Battery

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15 minutes

TO COMPLETE

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WHAT WILL YOU MAKE?

Did you know that you can make a battery using lemons? With just five lemons, some coins, screws, and copper wire, you can make an electric current flow around a circuit with enough energy to illuminate a small lamp called a light emitting diode (LED). Now just imagine what you could power with one hundred lemons!
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WHAT WILL YOU NEED?

STEP 1

With an adult’s help, use the knife to make a cut in a lemon, about 1/2in (1cm) from the center, and roughly 3/4in (2cm) deep. Now push a coin firmly into the slit you have created. Do the same with the other four lemons.

STEP 2

About 1/2 in (1 cm) from the center of the first lemon—on the other side to the coin—insert a galvanized screw. Twist it in, clockwise, to secure it in the lemon’s flesh. Now repeat with the other four lemons, then arrange the lemons in a circle.

STEP 3

Squeeze the clip on one wire so that it opens, like a crocodile’s jaws. Place it around the screw in one lemon, so it grips it. Connect the other clip to the coin in another lemon.

STEP 4

Connect all the lemons—coin to screw—as in step 3. For the last lemon, attach a wire to its coin, but don’t connect it to the screw in your first lemon. Instead, attach another wire to that screw.

STEP 5

Each LED has two legs, which are slightly different lengths. With the free end of the wire that is attached to the coin, fix the clip to the slightly longer leg of the LED.

STEP 6

Now connect the clip of the other free wire that is connected to the screw to the other, shorter leg of the LED. This now completes the circuit to make the LED light up.

Maker Lab by Jack Challoner

As seen on “The Late Late Show with James Corden”

Supporting STEM education initiatives and the maker movement, the National Parenting Publication Award-winner Maker Lab includes 28 kid-safe projects and crafts that will get young inventors’ wheels turning and make science pure fun.

Each step-by-step activity is appropriate for kids ages 8-12, and ranked easy, medium, or hard, with an estimated time frame for completion. Requiring only household materials, young makers can build an exploding volcano, race balloon rocket cars, construct a solar system, make a lemon battery, and more. Photographs and facts carefully detail the “why” and “how” of each experiment using real-world examples to provide context so kids can gain a deeper understanding of the scientific principles applied.

With a foreword by Jack Andraka, a teen award-winning inventor, Maker Lab will help kids find their inner inventor and create winning projects for school projects, science fairs, and beyond.

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Please Note

Your safety is your own responsibility, including proper use of equipment and safety gear, and determining whether you have adequate skill and experience. Power tools, electricity, and other resources used for these projects are dangerous, unless used properly and with adequate precautions, including safety gear and adult supervision. Some illustrative photos do not depict safety precautions or equipment, in order to show the project steps more clearly. Use of the instructions and suggestions found in Maker Camp is at your own risk. Maker Media, Inc., disclaims all responsibility for any resulting damage, injury, or expense.

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