Sunday, February 27, 2011

When the world gives you lemons...

... stick a galvanized nail in one end, copper wire in the other, and make a battery. It's a great way to learn about chemical energy and electricity.

Having powered a Cinderella-themed clock for 2+ months now, my daughter and I don't look at potatoes, oranges and other high-acid fruit and veg as we once did.

The phenomenon is interesting to us now, both as something fun to do and as an exhibit for the school science fair. But maybe there will be a long-term impact of this. First hand experience with fundamental science may very well affect how she forms theses and arguments. I can't help but hope that in a few years this experiment will be a point of reference to each of us in engaging debates over the viability of using food for fuel (e.g., raising corn for ethanol).

Cinderella will keep track of time until that happens. Provided, of course, we keep the lemons coming.