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Grade 6 through Grade 8 (Middle School)
Overview and Purpose:
Anytime food is involved in an experiment, students pay attention. In this lesson students will use various fruits to try to create enough energy to light a light bulb.
The student will be able to
*conduct an experiment to see which foods will act as a battery to light a light bulb.
*infer why some foods act as a battery and some do not.
One set for each group of students:
Light bulb and base
Have the students work in groups to determine which foods will work as batteries and create electricity. They should attach the tack and paperclip to opposite sides of the fruit and then attach the electrical wire to each one. When the wire is connected to the light bulb base, the bulb will light up if the juice in the fruit works as a battery. (Students should start with the lemon so the light bulb lights up and they can see what should happen.) Students should complete the worksheet as they conduct the experiment.
After the experiment is complete, come back together and discuss the results. Ask students to brainstorm other foods that might work based on the result of their experiment.
Sample of a teacher-created worksheet:
Which fruits do you think will act as a battery and light the light bulb and why?
1. Did the light bulb work?
2. Why do you think it did or did not?
Students could use any food; just make sure at least one of them will work as a battery. More advanced students can change the variables of the brass and steel to see if other metals complete the circuit.