The first event of 2018 involved the ECS Calgary Student Chapter’s participation in the Graduate Students’ Association’s Reverse Science Fair on the afternoon of March 3 at Crowsnest Hall (University of Calgary). Traditional science fairs allow young students to present a project or experiment to a panel of judges, whereas a reverse science fair involves scientists and engineers presenting a demonstration to young students. The purpose of the event was to promote interest in science and engineering among young children. The chapter decided to set up an electrochemistry booth to demonstrate fruit and vegetable operated batteries using lemons, limes, apples, bananas, and potatoes as the electrolyte. Nearly 100 participants attended the event, including grade school children and their parents. Attendees were initially asked to guess at which fruit/vegetable battery they believed would work, and then completed the circuit to light up an LED bulb. For each option, the children also measured the cell potential with a voltmeter to determine which fruit/vegetable was the best battery.
Members of the ECS Calgary Student Chapter demonstrating fruit and vegetable batteries at the Reverse Science Fair.
ECS Calgary Student Chapter committee (2018-2019) at the 2018 Reverse Science Fair. Photo credit by Tianpei Shu.