Miss Thomas’ Year 6 Science set are currently studying electricity, building on knowledge gained in Year 4. So far, the pupils have studied the symbols which represent components in a circuit, series and parallel circuits and currents. This week the pupils were focussing on batteries and voltage.
In their lesson, the children were tasked with investigating a variety of foods to see if they could produce a voltage high enough to charge a mobile phone (normally about 4V). Using a digital voltmeter, cables and metal inserts of copper and zinc, the children carried out the experiment using oranges, lemons, limes, cucumbers and potatoes.
Citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes are highly acidic. The more acidic the fruit is, the better it is for conducting electricity. These fruits contain positively charged ions. When you insert the metal strip into the fruit, the negatively charged ions start to move from the fruit to the metal strip leaving protons in the fruit. It is this movement of negative charges that generates electricity.
Prep School | 14/05/2021