Here you will find all the support you need to join in with investigation 2
We have a full set of teaching notes to support you, along with learner instructions in PDF or as PowerPoint slides to be used in the classroom. Instructions for carrying out the investigation are included in both, and you can watch the video below before you start.
Use the battery power worksheet (also available in PDF) to find out more about battery research and development from the past to the present day.
To take part in investigation 2, each group will need:
Each group to test one electrolyte from the following list:
This investigation covers many different scientific enquiry skills. You may want to choose just one or two to focus on.
You can use this worksheet for learners to record their results in the lesson (also available as a pdf).
If you have multiple sets of data, you can download our results template (Excel spreadsheet) for this investigation. Simply follow the instructions included with the template, then go to step 3.
When you’re ready, you can input your data directly or upload your completed results template.
Here are some frequently asked questions about this investigation, along with answers for learners at this level. Don’t see your question here? Let us know and we will do our best to add it to the list.
Different solutions cause the chemical reactions to happen at different rates and can create a bigger ‘push’ of current around the circuit.
The aluminium reacts with the electrolyte leading to the aluminium foil being used up.
With more cells the ‘push’ of current round the circuit is greater.
The particles in a solid cannot carry the flow of charge from one electrolyte to another.
Batteries ‘run out’ when one of the chemicals taking part in the reactions has fully reacted and is no longer available.
A rechargeable battery works in the same way as a coin cell when being used (eg to light an LED). However, the chemicals inside are different. When they ‘run out’ they can be connected to a charger to reverse the chemical reactions and ‘recharge’ them.
If you make a voltaic pile with more than 10 cells it is possible to get a small electric shock from it. This is how Alessandro Volta originally measured how powerful his batteries were by giving himself electric shocks.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or problems.