Potatoes Aren’t Just for Mashing

The ingredients for ceviche were a bonus; yesterday’s goal ingredient that we could not and would not leave the farmers market without were organic potatoes…not for cooking, for science class.Cooper’s hypothesis: If I introduce fertilizer and pesticides to a potato, then it will produce more phosphoric acid therefore increasing the voltages.  The YouTube video that sparked his interest: How to Make a Potato Battery.His hypothesis was wrong; the voltages were about the same regardless of organic versus non-organic, but anything that requires a knife and voltage is a fun project for a 13 year-old boy.  And by the end of the weekend he had transformed the potato batteries into potato targets.He made a slingshot out of a stick, clothespin, duct tape, ruler, hollowed-out pen, and piece of elastic.  The arrow is a skewer with a nail duct taped to the top.  The gadget works so well that he was slinging the skewers into our back fence and they were sticking in the wood!

It was in the news recently that many of the techies in Silicon Valley send their children to a Waldorf school that doesn’t use computers and even discourages their use at home because they stifle creativity and intelligence.  The potatoes and slingshot have me believing.

Cooper has suffered a series of unfortunate events lately.  First his computer blew, literally, it was smoking.  Second, our cable company made a change that requires a new box we haven’t picked up yet, so he’s down on channels.  Third, he came home with a terrible report card and got his tablet taken away.  His situation is now what I grew up with – basic cable…boohoo.  But on the sympathetic side, in teenage wasteland today, no Facebook equals desert island.  I can’t wait to see what the upcoming five-day holiday weekend will bring…hopefully nothing sharper or faster than flying nails.

  1. I love everything about this post…especially Cooper.

    And, yes, there is much “life” to be discovered without technology. Been there, done that. The Waldorfies are kooks but they have some great ideas.

  2. I had to add that Cooper got an A on his project! :)

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