A common experience for school-age children who teaches about electricity, stress, and energy is the “energized potato lamp” scenario. Using a normal potato and some metal elements, a low voltage bulb can be linked, fascinating and surprising children of all ages.
How to Light a Lamp with a Potato
Wrap the end of a piece of yarn around a coin. Cut another piece of wire and do the same with the other coin.
Make a cut on each potato the size of a small coin and place the coins in those potato openings.
Place a nail on the other end of each potato, making sure the nail and the coin do not touch through the potato.
Connect the yarn wrapped in the coin (stuck in the potato) on the nail, on the other potato.
Wrap a new piece of string around the nail on the other potato. Now you must have the two potatoes connected by a coin and a nail, which are the conductors.
Touch the end of each of these loose wires at the bottom of the flashlight bulb. There must be enough voltage to turn on the lamp.
Make sure the nail and the coin do not touch – the potato is the conductor, and if the two pieces of metal touch, it will not allow the experiment to work.
What do you need
- Two potatoes
- two coins
- two nails (with zinc bases)
- lantern lamp
- knife/cutting utensil