Activity Name: Potato Battery
Time Required: 15 – 20 minutes (although you could also use a trip to Walmart to get some supplies as time together with your children).
Introduction: This activity is both a science activity as well as a resource resilience activity. You will be making batteries out of potatoes to power a small clock. You could also use it an electrometer to measure the electricity as well. You will be using some very basic items you can find around the house in most cases to create the battery. This object lesson is used to illustrate that we can take the resources around us to use in an unexpected way (i.e. a penny, nail and potato to create a battery.)
What you need:
- Large fresh potatoes (1 or 2 per person)
- 1 if you are going to use the electro meter to measure voltage
- 2 if you are going to power a small clock
- 2 pennies
- 2 galvanized* screws or nails
- *galvanized means it is steel or dipped in zinc.
- 3 wire leads with alligator clips at the end
- Miniature clock or Voltmeter to measure the electrical flow
Instructions: Detailed instructions on how to create a potato battery can be found at the following website: https://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Potato-Battery
What did it take to create a battery?
What do we use batteries for in our everyday life?
Did it surprise you that you could make a battery with such simple items?
Why is it important to learn to use what you have around you to solve problems?