How to turn your AM radio into a metal detector

Really? This radio could find a missing toy?

While watching Curious George on PBS Kids with my four year old, I learned something. In the episode we viewed–“Curious George, Metal Detective”–George needs a metal detector to find a toy robot he’s lost in the sand, but the one he’s borrowed has run out of batteries.  “How about making one?” his scientist friend suggests. Make one? “It’s easy,” she explains: simply by taping an AM radio and calculator together, you can make your own metal detector. George tries it, and–lo and behold–finds his missing toy.

Really? I wondered. Was this PBS show feeding my skeptical children science fiction?

I quickly googled the notion, and apparently, it works!  Watch the video below for a tutorial on building your own deluxe model:

Lessons learned? You’re never too old to learn from Curious George, PBS, or the fellow in this video.  And radios are clearly even more versatile than even I guessed.

Now, back to metal detecting…Is that another soda can?

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