1st grade 2nd grade 3rd grade 4th grade 5th grade 6th grade Science Science Experiments

How to Make a Homemade Battery Science Experiment

Looking for a really cool and practice science experiment for kids? Your kids will be wowed and amazed at this  how to make a battery science project! This homemade battery experiment is a great introduction to electricity for kids and only uses a couple simple materials to allow children to understand how batteries work while trying a battery experiment.  This battery science project is perfect for first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th graders too. Even parents, homeschoolers, and teachers will enjoy this electricity experiments for kids.

Looking for a really cool and practice science experiment for kids? Your kids will be wowed and amazed at this  how to make a battery science project! This homemade battery experiment is a great introduction to electricity for kids and only uses a couple simple materials to allow children to understand how batteries work while learning how to make a homemade battery. This battery science project is perfect for first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th graders too. Even parents, homeschoolers, and teachers will enjoy this electricity experiments for kids. 


How to make a battery science project

Harnessing the power of electricity is truly one of mankind’s greatest achievements. From indoor lighting to smartphones, being able to use electrical energy to our advantage has completely changed the course of human history. This how to make a battery science project provides kids with a simple, inexpensive way to create their own homemade battery experiment using materials that are likely already in their home (pennies, aluminum foil, paper towels, vinegar, and duct tape). With an inexpensive LED, kids can use their homemade batteries to power a useful device and feel some of the excitement that early inventors must have felt over two hundred years ago. Try this battery science project with grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 elementary age and middle school students.

Electricity experiments for kids

Electricity is a form of energy that comes from charged particles. In nearly all electrical devices, negatively charged particles called electrons flow along a wire to create a current which is used to power the device. A wire that is not connected to a power source has no reason to create an electrical current. When batteries are connected within a circuit, electrons want to flow from the negative electrode (called the anode) to the positive electrode (called the cathode) creating the current that will power the load.

Within a battery, a separator is placed between anode and cathode to keep the electrons from flowing directly from one electrode to the other, forcing the electrons to flow along the external wire and power our devices. Another substance, called an electrolyte, is also placed between the anode and cathode. The electrolyte promotes the chemical reactions which will cause the anode to become negatively charged and the cathode to become positively charged. In this simple homemade experiment the anode is the aluminum foil, the cathode is the penny, the separator is the paper towel, and the electrolyte is the vinegar.

science-experiments

How to make a homemade battery

All you need are a few simple materials to try this homemade battery:

  • Pennies (at least 5 if you would like to use your batteries to light up an LED)
  • Aluminum foil (only a small amount, about a foot (~1/3 meter) of length is needed)
  • Paper towels (about 1 square)
  • Vinegar (I used distilled white vinegar, but the type is not important. Could also use lemon juice or salt water. You only need a small amount.)
  • Duct tape
  • LED (optional, but the activity is more fun if you have something to power. I used a green LED which only required 2 volts to light. Some LEDs may require more.)
  • Alligator clips (optional, makes it easy to connect battery in a circuit, but could also use strips of aluminum foil instead. I only used 2.)
  • Voltmeter (optional, but makes the activity more meaningful if the child can measure how much voltage their battery produces.)

Cut-a-piece-of-aluminum-foil

Homemade Battery Experiment

To make your homemade battery, first tear a square piece of aluminum foil about 3 inches (8 cm) per side. Exact dimensions are not important.

Fold the aluminum foil into a square about 1 inch (2.5 cm) on each side. Again, exact size is not important, but the square piece of aluminum foil should be a little bigger than a penny. Fold-aluminum-foil-into-a-square-slightly-bigger-than-a-penny

Battery science project

Rip a piece of paper towel about the same size as the aluminum foil and fold it into a similarly sized square. Rip-a-small-piece-of-paper-towel

Battery experiment

Next, rip a piece of duct tape that is about the same width as the paper towel (or slightly bigger). Rip-a-piece-of-duct-tape-to-tape-battery-together

DIY Battery

Layer the penny, paper towel square, and aluminum foil squares on top of the duct tape. The penny should stick out from the duct tape slightly. Line up the paper towel with the duct tape edge on the penny side (and be completely covered on the other side). The aluminum foil should hang over the other end of the duct tape and should not touch the penny at all.

Tape-layers-together

How to make a battery

Fold over the duct tape to hold the 3 layers together to make your DIY Battery. The front and back of your battery should look like this: Front-and-Back-of-Battery

Battery science project

Finally, add a few drops of vinegar to the paper towel to act as the electrolyte. Your battery is complete.

If you have a voltmeter, connect the positive, red lead to the copper penny and the negative, black lead to the aluminum foil. Turn the dial to the lowest voltage setting. Your battery should measure in the vicinity of half a volt. Measure-battery-voltage

Homemade battery science experiment

If you would like to light up an LED, you will need to make about 5 batteries. Depending on your particular LED, you may need more or fewer. Repeat-4-more-times-to-make-5-batteries-total

How to make a homemade battery

Connect your batteries in series by attaching the penny of one battery to the aluminum foil of the next with duct tape. Tape-the-batteries-together-in-series

Use alligator clips to attach the ends of your battery series to the LED. Remember that an LED is directional. You will most likely need to attach the long leg of the LED to the penny end. Then attach the short leg to the aluminum foil, but if it does not work, try switching the leads.

Connect-light-bulb-to-battery-series-with-alligator-clips

You can use your hands or some other heavy object (like a banana) to make sure all connections are firmly in place.

Apply-presssure-to-battery-series-in-order-to-light-LED

How cool is that!

Fun and EASY chromatography projects for kids clever paint stick solar system project air-presssure-science-projects-for-kids water-balloon-science-experiments

Science for Kids

Looking for lots more fun, science experiments for kids? You’ve GOT to try some of these outrageously fun science experiments for kids! We have so many fun, creative and easy science experiments for elementary age children:

This amazing color changing slime is going to blow your mind! This heat sensitive slime will actually change color as your kids touch it because it is heat sensitive! This is a super cool project for kids you MUST TRY! Must try summer activity for kids to add to their summer bucket list  Help kids learn about what is under their skin with this fun, interactive, and hands on human body project for kids from toddler, preschool, pre k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students. This can be a simple life size human body project or use our free printable templates to add bones of the body, organ templates, and more. This engaging science project is EASY and LOW PREP too.  dying flowers science experiment Building and creating is something we just don’t do enough. We can buy manual powered cars, or even remote controlled cars, but nothing compares to creating one your ow elastic band cars. This fun STEM activity for kids was probably the best we have done so far. It was relatively easy, inexpensive (we used quite a few recycled materials) and SO MUCH FUN! If you and your kids like creating STEM projects, this rubber band powered car is a must! Make your own rubber band car designs with your preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade students and have some fun playing and learning today!

Fun summer activity for bucket list  Mason jar lid flower suncatcher Edible Ice Cream Playdough Recipe - amazing 2 ingredient playdough recipe perfect for toddler, preschool, kindergarten and kids of all ages for an ice cream thing, kids activity, or summer bucket list #playdough #playdoughrecipes #icecream

Summer Bucket List Ideas

Perhaps you are looking to fill up your activity calendars with fun summer activities for kids. (Or try our Ice Cream Summer Bucket List) Don’t miss these other must-try kids summer kids activities:

banana-battery-science-projects

About the author

Beth Gorden

Beth Gorden is the creative multi-tasking creator of 123 Homeschool 4 Me. As a busy homeschooling mother of six, she strives to create hands-on learning activities and worksheets that kids will love to make learning FUN! She has created over 1 million pages of printables to help teach kids ABCs, science, English grammar, history, math, and so much more! Beth is also the creator of 2 additional sites with even more educational activities and FREE printables - www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com and www.preschoolplayandlearn.com

Leave a Comment