Video: Scientists create world's first Christmas tree powered by Brussels sprouts

They hope it will inspire children to eat the things - and take up an interest in science and engineering

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The Independent Online

Scientists in the UK have created the world's first Christmas tree with lights powered only by Brussels sprouts.

Using 1,000 of the raw vegetables as an alternative power source, the team of scientists at the Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair said they hoped to inspire the next generation.

The tree was launched last week on London's Southbank, with help from Year 7 pupils from the City of London Academy.

Scientists and engineers created the environmentally-friendly battery after research found that 68 per cent of UK kids “hate” sprouts at Christmas, and two thirds think the tradition of eating them should be stopped.

The battery used 1,000 sprouts in total to light 100 LEDs.

Copper and zinc electrodes were placed in the sprouts to create a chemical reaction which generated a current. This could then be stored and used to power the lights of the tree.

Paul Jackson, the CEO of EngineeringUK, which runs the fair, said: “We want young people to think about STEM subjects in an interesting way and are always looking for different ways to do that. It being the festive time of year – and kids’ dislike of sprouts being well documented – using them to create a battery seemed like a unique way to achieve that aim.

“Every year thousands of pupils and teachers attend the Fair, which exists to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. We want to extend the buzz of the Fair further and wider, so that even those who can’t attend are encouraged to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths.”