Monday, June 15, 2015

June 15: Ben Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment (1752)

image from whatpoll.com

There is debate over whether American pioneer and inventor really conducted this experiment in which he attached a key to a kite and flew it during an electrical storm. You can read about it here. Regardless of what really happened or didn’t, this is a good time to let kids do some experimenting with electricity by making this homemade battery.


Homemade Battery

Materials:

  • plastic cups
  • concentrated lemon juice
  • copper nails
  • aluminum nails
  • insulated wire
  • flashlight bulbs

Directions:

  1. Fill each cup ¾ full with concentrated lemon juice.
  2. Several inches of wire will be needed for each battery.
  3. Expose the ends of the wire by cutting through the plastic insulation, but not the wire.
  4. Do the same in the middle of the wire.
  5. Wrap each end of the wire around the tops of the nails.
  6. Twist the mddle around the light bulb.
  7. The wire must touch the tip of the bulb’s end and the metal ridges around its base.
  8. Stick nails in lemon juice and bulb should light. If not, reattach wire and try again.
  9. Explanation: lemon juice is an acid and acts much like the inside of a dry cell to create a battery.

Source(s): 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity H7).


Check out the full June calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

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