Sunday, April 1, 2012

Potato Clock?

March brought with it a few winds, more than a few flowers and the science fair. The Darling decided on making a Potato clock. Easy enough the hubby and I thought, and even easier if we buy a kit. There are many kits to choose from and hubby selected this one from Amazon.

Simple enough, or is it? We can't get it to work. At first we blame the clock, but it works when you use a battery, so we move on. Then we blame the potato, maybe it is too small? Too big? How about an organic potato?How about a grapefruit? Oranges? Maybe, apples? (The clock cannot work on an apple, the fruit or veggie has to be acidic to work.) Yet currently it isn't working at all. Time moves forward but not in the world of the potato clock science project, and the situation is looking grim. I suggest we write the project up as a scientific failure, but the project team is not amused.

So, instead at the last minute we have to move on to "How Are Clouds Formed", which requires the Darling to create a cloud inside a bottle. All you need for that experiment is a 2 liter bottle, and supervised match use. There is an easy explanation of the experiment at Weather Wiz Kids ,which is a great weather site for kids. The Darling's experiment turned out fine, and we will revisit the Potato Clock  at a later date.

As for the potato, I gave it a nice sendoff  beneath some broccoli, cheese and turmeric.

Do you have a favorite science experiment that you did in school?  Or a story about a science project that didn't work out as planned?


  1. I gotta be honest - I don't think a single one of my science fair projects ever turned out well! I do know that my brother did the "grapefruit as a battery" experiment two years in a row. He got it to work, but he wasn't trying to run a clock. I'm all in favor of the potato's end run, though!

    1. Hi Rebe, For some reason I cannot remember any of the science experiments that I did myself. We will have to try a grapefruit and maybe an led light instead of the clock.

  2. A girl after my own heart!!! I have a niece and get her science-y stuff for birthdays and Christmas. I'm bound and determined to turn her into a lover of all things science! :D

    1. Thank you for stopping by, for some reason your comment didn't show up at first.


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