National Informal STEM Education Network: Build a Battery

In this Short Activity, learners learn build their own batteries with metal and felt washers.

The Let’s Do Chemistry “Build a Battery” activity lets participants learn how batteries work and how materials behave, change, and interact by building their own simple battery out of metal and felt washers. They can use their battery to power an LED or a buzzer. This style of battery is similar to the original “voltaic pile” battery.


Chemists study how different materials behave and change, and how materials interact with each other.

Chemists use tools to discover and make new things.


  • Learners will develop positive attitudes toward learning about chemistry:
    • Learners will increase their feelings of interest in chemistry through hands-on exploration.
    • Learners will increase their sense of self-efficacy related to chemistry through hands-on interaction with scientific tools and by experimenting with variables.

Science Topics
K-6, Educator
2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade
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