Lesson Ideas

Hydrogen fuel in class – a hands-on lesson

Are you interested in teaching your students about alternative energy sources, such as wind, solar, and hydrogen? This hands-on lesson gives students the opportunity to learn about alternative energy sources in an active and engaging way! The full lesson plan, including objectives, materials needed, and time requirement, can be found in this downloadable document:

The lesson includes:

Part 1: Introduction

Start this lesson by teaching students about some of the limitations of alternative energy sources. Students will watch this video:

Divide students into pairs or groups. Give them each a copy of Handout 1, “How Do We Store
Electricity?”
, which offers a description of how the common electricity storage options work. Students
should discuss the options and rank them based on plausibility. You can wrap up the ranking activity with a short discussion. At the end of this discussion, introduce hydrogen as an alternative fuel source using this Slides Presentation.

Part 2: Hands-on Activity

In this activity, students will create hydrogen by splitting a water molecule. Students should have this worksheet, which gives instructions on how to complete the experiment. Students can collaboratively discuss what is happening in the experiment.

Part 3: Reading Assignment

Individually or in groups, have students read the article How Can We Turn Ocean Water into
Renewable Energy?
published in Science Journal for Kids and Teens:

Students will answer the analysis questions at the end of the article. End the reading activity with a discussion about the following two questions:

  1. Why did the researchers create a device that couples osmosis with water splitting?
  2. How does this research impact the plausibility of hydrogen as a renewable energy storage option?

Part 4: Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Now that students have a background on how we can use hydrogen store energy, they will learn about how it is possible to turn that back into usable energy. Students will need this worksheet. They will go through the virtual activity linked here and answer questions about what is occurring in a hydrogen fuel cell.

Part 5: Writing Extension

If time allows, students can write a letter to a local politician persuading them to invest in hydrogen to make
renewable energy a more viable option for their area. Another option is to have students make an advertisement to promote hydrogen as a fuel storage option. Their advertisement should include how hydrogen is made and how it can be used to power their homes or cars.

That’s not all!

Make sure to check out the virtual learning options at the end of the lesson plan. Visit the article’s page for even more resources: text-to-speech version, related content, foreign language translations, curriculum alignment, and others.

Check out other hands-on lessons from Science Journal for Kids.

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