Materials List: Two-Cell Battery

Each group needs:

  • 2 pieces aluminum foil: 8 in x 12 in (20 cm x 30 cm)
  • 2 wide-mouth glass jars (must be able to hold at least 150 ml)
  • 2 small paper cups (such as Dixie cups), cut at ¾ in from the cup bottom, or 2 plastic caps from milk jugs
  • 3 pieces (one: 12 in [30 cm] and two: 31.5 in [80 cm]) of non-insulated copper wire (gauge AWG 20) (available at most hardware stores); a total of 75 in (200 cm) per group. Or, if you have insulated wire, it will work if you strip the insulation off the ends.
  • masking tape
  • wire cutters
  • marking pens
  • Two-Cell Battery Worksheet

For a Battery Testing Station for the entire class to share:

  • containers for the electrolyte solutions (must be able to hold at least 150 ml); wide-mouth glass jars work well
  • electrolyte solutions (make in advance with water and vinegar, citrus juice [such as lemon] or salt; see Procedure section)
  • a few graduated cylinders (10–25 ml) or liquid measuring cups or jars with volumes marked on the side
  • 3 pairs of safety glasses or goggles
  • 1 DC ammeter (to measure current in amperes) (available at most hardware or electronics shops)
  • paper towels

For a Cleaning Station for the entire class to share:

  • water and sink, or, if no drain is available, a large empty container to collect the used electrolyte solutions
  • (optional) paper towels