Making a potato clock is a fun and educative science project that can help them learn about electricity and circuits. Making potatoes conduct electricity to operate a clock is the main theme of the project, by keeping the zinc ions in the nail and the copper ions apart. These then force the electrons to move from one to the other and produce an electric current.
Here is a guide on making a potato clock at home for your kids:
Things you will need
- 2 potatoes
- a low voltage digital clock
- 2 pieces of copper wire
- 2 galvanized nails
- 3 alligator clips
- Remove the cover of the clock where the batteries are placed. Take out the batteries and do not replace the cover.
- Insert a nail in each of the two potatoes. Label the potatoes “1” and “2” so you can differentiate between the two. Press the nail an inch into the potato.
- Press a piece of wire in the opposite end of the potato, and do the same for the other one as well. This means each potato will have a nail and copper wire sticking out of its ends.
- Connect the potatoes to the clock now with the alligator clips, by utilizing the three alligator clips. Through this the electrical current will pass. Connect the copper wire from the first potato with the positive terminal (+) in the battery component of the clock with the first alligator clip. Connect the nail of the second potato to the negative terminal (-) in the clock. The third alligator clip has to be connected to the copper wires of both the potatoes.
- Set the clock, and you will see that as soon as you connect the third alligator clip, the clock turns on.