# Building & Designing Batteries STEM Kit

#### Item # 96-7950

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Students learn hands-on with the Building and Designing Batteries Kit. Students learn how to use a multimeter to measure voltage and amperage, voltage and current, calculate electrical resistance and electrode potentials, evaluate battery performance, assemble electrical circuits, and construct batteries with the 8 investigative activities included.

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Students learn hands-on with the Building and Designing Batteries Kit. Students learn how to use a multimeter to measure voltage and amperage, voltage and current, calculate electrical resistance and electrode potentials, evaluate battery performance, assemble electrical circuits, and construct batteries with the 8 investigative activities included. The kit also features enough materials for 40 students working in groups of 4, as well as a DVD with PDF Teacher and Student Guides and other digital content.

Building and Designing Batteries Summary of Activities

 Building a Pile Battery Voltaic Cell Students review and practice using a multimeter to measure electrical quantities and validate their measurements using Ohm’s Law; construct a pile battery and evaluate its energy characteristics and compare it to a commercial D cell. Student groups will then team up to construct an appropriate circuit that will produce enough current to light an LED lamp. Guided – Model Experiment Designing the Better Pile Battery Students use their initial pile battery-building experience (from the MODEL experiment) to design, build, and test battery designs and evaluate how they meet minimal performance specifications of a design goal. Students must choose: metals, electrolyte, separator material, and battery shape. Open – Inquiry Experiment Building a LED Light Battery Students view a guide image of a “quarter battery” with an illuminated LED light. They will use this image as a design prototype to construct their own pile battery that lights a 3.5V (20mA) LED lamp using zinc and nickel planchets. They evaluate the electrical properties of their battery and validate these measurements using Ohm’s Law. They then compare the energy density to that of a commercial D cell. Guided – Model Experiment Designing an Alkaline LED Light Battery Students design, build, test, and compare the power output and energy density of an acid to alkaline version cell at the same voltage. Open – Inquiry Experiment Building Earth & Microbe Batteries Students will set up an “earth battery” and record voltage readings under different soil types and conditions. In a long term (>30 days) student groups use aerated soils – from various sources (source of Shewanella spp.) – as an electrolyte in constructing a microbial fuel cell (MFC). They construct this microbe battery and evaluate its energy characteristics over time (about 1+ month). Guided – Model Experiment Working with Earth Batteries Improving Electrode Design Students use suggestions in designing alternative earth electrode designs based on increased surface area. Improving Earth as an Electrolyte Students place earth battery electrodes in different combinations (series / parallel), and in different soil conditions (marsh, sand, loam, fertilized, high salt content, etc.) to optimize voltage output. Students also investigate the use of diatomaceous earth as an electrolyte. Going Further A Closer Look at Galvanic Corrosion Interpreting Experimental Results Students interpret a photograph of experimental results involving galvanic corrosion - solid copper wire was wrapped around the center area of an iron nail. Going Further Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) Size & Performance Use 5-gallon plastic pails as MFC containers. Students use a current (US Navy) version and simple MFC construction tip videos as guides to upgraded designs. Improve MFC Performance Using Electrolyte” Microbial Enhancers” Students propose (hypothesize) fuel cell “enhancements” that increase power output; they also investigate some “improvement tips.”Students place earth battery electrodes in different combinations (series / parallel), and in different soil conditions (marsh, sand, loam, fertilized, high salt content, etc.) to optimize voltage output. Students also investigate the use of diatomaceous earth as an electrolyte. Going Further

WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals which are known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.

Products being sold are not toys. They are for Educational / Laboratory use only. They are not for use by children 12 and under.

#### What’s Included

- 3 Red LED (1.7V; 20mA)
- 5 Blue LED (3.2V; 20mA)
- 5 White LED (3.5V; 20mA)
- 1 Roll, electrical tape
- 1 Roll, copper foil tape (150cm; 60in)
- 1 Roll, insulated wire (stranded, 20 gauge)
- 200 Washers, flat, 18mm (galvanized)
- 110 Ni planchets, flat, 25mm
- 110 Zn planchets, flat, 25mm
- 10 Wire, 14 gage stranded (8-inch length)
- 1 Multimeter
- 1 Pair, wire strippers
- 10 Cups, plastic (4oz)
- 10 Cups, Styrofoam
- 10 Lids, Styrofoam
- 1 Vial, pH strips
- 10 Ruler, 6-inch (metric)
- 1 Rod, Aluminum (Al)
- 1 Rod, Copper (Cu)
- 10 Resistors, 1,000 Ω
- 1 Bag, play sand
- 10 Zip-closure bags (small)
- 20 Alligator clips
- 20 Wing nuts, galvanized
- 60 Aluminum mesh screen squares
- 100 Water color paper discs (20 mm)
- 100 Water color paper discs (25 mm)
- DVD-ROM Learning About Batteries & Electrochemistry
- Teacher Guide PDF
- Student Guide PDF
- Glossary: Batteries
- Learning About Batteries & Electrochemistry PDF
- Electrochemistry and Batteries PowerPoint
- Measuring Electrical Quantities PowerPoint
- DATA TABLE Setup in Excel Video
- CONSTRUCTING A QURTER BATTERY Video
- CHARTING DATA Setup in Excel Video
- NRL BENTHIC FUEL CELLS
- Spreadsheets: Activity 1 – Data Table 2 (Model) and 1 (Inquiry), Activity 2 – Data Table (Model & Inquiry), and Activity 3 – Data Table 2 (Model)
- Worksheets: Building a Quarter Battery with LED Lamp PDF, Galvanic Corrosion PDF, Electrode Potentials, and Grid

Required household materials for independent investigations
- 1 Bottle, lemon juice
- 1 Bottle, vinegar
- 1 Potato
- 1 Pkg., table salt
- 1 Pkg., baking soda
- 1 Tube, toothpaste
- 1 Bottle, milk of magnesia
- 1 Bottle, TIDE detergent
- 1 Roll, aluminum foil (heavy duty)
- 10 Zip-closure bags (small)
- 1 Beaker, 500mL
- 1 Potato
- 10 Pairs, scissors
- 1 Bottle, dishwashing detergent
- 200 Pennies
- 50 Nickels
- 1 D cell
- 10 Pencils
- 10 Permanent markers
- 1 Balance (readability to 0.1g)
- 1 Roll, paper towels (or absorbent cloth)
- 1 Awl
- 1 Bucket, 5 gallons (with lid)
- 1 Tablespoon
- 1 Pliers, needle-nose
- 1 Shovel (or spade) for field collection
- 1 Pair, boots (appropriate for wet conditions) for field collection