The best thing made with vegetables since boiling and eating them, a group of schoolchildren have found a way to power a Christmas tree with Brussel sprouts.
Brussel sprouts; you either love them or hate them. For many, the spherical, green vegetable, affectionately known as ‘Brussels’ is mostly enjoyed steamed at Christmas, when Santa has been and gone, the presents have all been opened and you’re hungry enough to stick your fork into a delicious lunch in which Brussels are just one of many highlights. For others, however, Brussel sprouts are known as ‘that awful thing we avoid all year, only to face at Christmas’, the green gremlin that you chase around your plate with a fork, hoping your mother hasn’t noticed that you’ve hidden your sprouts amongst the spuds. Needless to say, there are mixed opinions all round but now, a group of schoolchildren have come up with a way to bring both sides of the divisive argument together, with a Brussel sprout powered Christmas tree.
Put together by Big Bang, an organisation that works to promote engineering and science skills, is The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineer Fair which sees 9 to 17 year olds present their best and most unique ideas in a place that only wants to encourage them to further their knowledge of the field. One of this year’s entries was the Brussel sprout powered Christmas tree which works by stuffing a total of 1000 of the green things into five power cells (200 sprouts in each cell) which are designed to resembles the stalks that the sprouts grow on. Next comes the science-y bit, as the sprouts are mounted on zinc and copper electrodes which, when chemically reacted with the sprouts, is able to generate a small current, which is then funnelled into a capacitor, thus powering the lights that adorn the tree.
The team of youngsters behind the fantastic invention say that this will likely power the lights on the tree for a few weeks, meaning that sprouts are actually an efficient way of powering your holiday decorations, provided that you have quite a few of them! You can watch the video below to find out more.