By Melissa Karsten / February 23, 2021

Batteries: Exploring stored energy

National Battery Day is recognized annually on February 18 – yes, it’s really a thing – which made us consider what science, tips, and activities we could share with you.

We use batteries every day, and don’t usually think much about them unless our remote, car, or phone goes dead. It’s truly amazing how many things we use that rely on batteries – your lawnmower, clock, wireless devices, smoke detectors, surge protectors, holiday decorations, toys, and on and on. There might be as many objects that use batteries as there are topics to cover about batteries. So, here are a few resources to help you narrow it down to the basics for your learners.

Powerful History

Sometimes it’s helpful to start with history, and this TED-Ed video uses a unique approach to explore the origins of the electric vocabulary we use to talk about energy.

Charging It Up

Of course, not all batteries are created equal. They can have different chemistry, voltage, and uses. So you can use this video to help learners understand just how batteries work.

The Buzz in Future Energy Storage

The evolution of batteries is still happening. Who knows where we’ll be in another 50 years? For some insight into where we’re headed, check out this list of research projects related to energy. This video also shares a direction we’re headed.

Shockingly Fun Activities

There are a wide variety of battery-related activities available for all grade levels. Most take some planning to make sure you have the supplies you need. But, there are a few you can try with items you might already have wherever your teaching is happening. Try these out:

Recharging

Get some tips about rechargeable batteries from our “Avoid early battery death with maintenance” blog post.

And remember, batteries aren’t the only things that can need recharging! You and your students might need to take a little break to build up some energy before tackling a new project. 

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TOPICS: IN THE CLASSROOM, BEYOND THE CLASSROOM, Science, Technology, STEM, Engineering, Authentic Learning, Activities, Hands-on Learning, Inquiry-based Learning

Melissa Karsten

Written by Melissa Karsten

Anyone that knows me well knows I love to ask questions and get excited about learning. So, it’s been awesome throughout the last 13+ years with Pitsco to have so many opportunities to ask educators questions online and in their classrooms and learn from them. But, I have to say, my favorite part is witnessing the students’ “aha!” moments using the hands-on approach. Being a crafter – I’d love to be on "Flea Market Flip!" – I can relate. Now, if there were just a few more hours in the day for my digital projects, gardening, beekeeping, running, and what I call puppy time!