Lemon Science

Photo: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland-Originally published in Discover Science & EngineeringForget the lemonade stand. If life gives you lemons, do a science experiment!

Here are eight fun experiments to try. Remember to get adult permission before starting any of these projects.

1. APPLES and LEMONS – Let’s start off with some practical kitchen science. You can use the juice from this activity for some of the other projects. This is a two-part experiment, so don’t forget to click on the link at the end of the first page.

2.  INVISIBLE INK – Use lemon juice to write super secret messages. Caution: we wouldn’t advise using this ink for your What I Did Over The Summer essay.

3.  LEMON FIZZ – Lemon juice, baking soda, and dishwashing detergent will bubble you over.

4.  LEMON DIVER – Grab a lemon, a jar, a balloon, and a few other easy to find household items for this experiment on pressure. Oh, and don’t forget to grab an adult to help you cut shapes from the lemon peel.

5.  LEMON BATTERY – You probably couldn’t run a car or even your video games off of this battery, but it’s still a fun project to try.

6. ACID RAIN – Discover how acid rain effects plant life. You’ll need lemons and bean plants for this one.

7. LEMON PENICILLIN AND MOLD – Perhaps there are already unintentional mold experiments in the back of your refrigerator, but start this one off with a fresh lemon. You may want to let your mom know that mess in the back of your cupboard is your science project.

8. GROW YOUR OWN LEMON TREE – This isn’t really an experiment, but you could turn it into one. The linked article states that dried lemon seeds won’t grow into plants. Why not plant some fresh seeds and some dried seeds, and see which ones sprout and grow best.  Here are some other ideas for lemon seed experiments: plant your seeds in different soils, put them in different light sources, play Lady Gaga for one plant and Bach for another.

Take pictures and jot down notes about the results of all your experiments. You’ll have a great scrapbook of summer fun as well as some ideas for next fall’s science project.