MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Batteries: The Wings of Modern Technologies

Shurong Huo
Teacher of Chemistry
Verakin High School of Chongqing
Chongqing, China


This lesson explores the structure and working principles of batteries through experiments. The students are engaged to learn once they realize the importance of batteries in daily life. Students will understand the structure and working principles of batteries through this lesson and perhaps will want to develop better batteries in the future! Prior to using this lesson, a teacher may want to ask students to obtain some knowledge about batteries on their own.There are several experiments for the students to conduct in this lesson. Some fruits such as lemons, tomatoes, apples will be used for the experiments. Other materials such as wires, a galvanometer, and a small bulb also need to be prepared. The experiments take some time. To save time, the students can be divided into several groups with 3-5 students doing different experiments. Afterwards, the different groups can share and discuss their findings. By conducting the experiements this way, the lesson can be done in about 45 minutes. Students should be encouraged to perform the experiments in a focussed and ordered manner. For example, while exploring the conditions to form a primary cell, they should always keep one condition the same and change other conditions alternately. 




在动手实验时,可以分成3-5人一组,注意实验的目的,有序性。比如在探究原电池构成条件时,要求 “一变它定” ,即探究某一条件的影响,其他条件就不能变;每个探究实验在上一个实验的基础上稍作改进就可以进行,这样可以节约时间。

I’ve taught high school chemistry for 20 years and enjoy teaching very much. I like sports and making friends in my free time.


This resource is sponsored by Battery University, a free educational website that offers hands-on battery information to engineers, educators, media, students and battery users alike.

This site, hosted by ExplainThatStuff, presents a very comprehensive overview on everything about batteries!

This resource,, is another comprehensive source of information on batteries.


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