October 2016 – Potato Batteries

We all use batteries every day.   Cars, phones, toys, TV remotes, and especially XBOX controllers wouldn’t work without them.   But how do batteries actually work?    Did you know you can make electricity from a potato?  Although generally skeptical at first, all our students soon realized that it was true!   By learning a little about what’s inside a regular battery (a chemical reaction between dissimilar metals, of course) we realized we could light up an LED bulb with nothing but potatoes, some pennies, some nails, and a few connecting wires.  Once we “saw the light” we continued the experiment by seeing if we could make our light brighter or use multiple lights.  At the end of class, we recycled our potatoes … either as compost and food for our worm boxes or as “Potato Planter People” with carrot seeds that will soon sprout green “hair”.

Leave a comment