Energy Fuel Cell Car Kit


Today the world is faced with a need for energy. Some of our energy sources are being depleted, and are polluting our environment. Energy and the ability to deliver energy are a foundation of life and civilization. In the next 10 to 50 years the world will be faced with dramatic challenges and changes of where it obtains its energy.

We have tried to create experiments that excite, engage, and challenge young people. Energy is everywhere around us, it is in the food we eat, the package it came in and the light around us. Water, Hydrogen and Oxygen in the fuel cell car are one of the fundamental chemical energy systems of world, and could be a possible future energy storage and delivery system for mankind. Think of this car and the accessories as a miniature version of the world energy systems. In the experiments we have also tried to open windows into the history and ongoing science of this endeavor.

K-4 Strand II requirements

The experiments were devised to allow teachers and students to go far beyond the described experiments. As a guide to do experiments and to analyze the results we have provided in the back of the manual experiment worksheet tables, and example data and plots.

Let the Exploration begin--

A note to safety: We have tried hard to devise experiments that allow the young explorer to make contact and obtain a real feel with hydrogen and oxygen, chemical energy, electrical energy safely. But be warned that there are hazards and w e will try to point them out and how to safely do experiments. Exploration has real risks. Doing experiments by its very nature is trying something that you have never tried before, so take precautions. I have included 10 commandments for experimenters at the back of the Manual. They are a little humorous and not a complete list but hopefully students will remembered them and use it a guideline to do safe experiments. Please use adult supervision and wear safety glasses or goggles. We want these e xplorations to lead to understanding, "why" is very important to us. It our hope that they will also make our own discoveries because there is so much more. The future will be theirs, make sure they have touched it.


  • Robert G. Hockaday (an inventor)
  • Ash Bowersocks (testing and experiment devising), Rachel Myrowitz (testing ),
  • Laura A. Hockaday (illustrations testing and writing),
  • Liviu Simil-Popa (testing and corrections)
  • Katie E. Hockaday (editing)

This Manual was created through a grant from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, New Mexico) and the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources

Department JPA #06-521-0300-0211, Administered by Don Weinkoff at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. To obtain additional kits, and replacement parts contact Energy Related Devices.

Your comments and observations are also welcome. Middle school (and other grade) teachers interested in the kits, please let us know.

Table of Contents of the Energy Fuel Cell Car Kit

  • Introduction to Energy and Power (Basic)
  • Experiment 1: Feel Energy and Power (Basic)
  • Experiment 2: Basic Fuel Cell Assembly and Operation (Basic)
  • Experiment 3: Charge time- Proportional gas production. Explain current and electrons atoms and molecules (Intermediate).
  • Experiment 4: Flammability and rapid chemical reactions...explosions (Intermediate)
  • Experiment 5: Pipet Rockets Ideal Fuel Mixture (Intermediate)
  • Experiment 6: Current, Voltage, Gas, Energy, and Power (Advanced)
  • Experiment 7: Handcrank Generator and Electrolysis and Fuel Cell (Intermediate)
  • Experiment 8: Hybrid Fuel Cell, Charging, and Motor (Intermediate).
  • Experiment 9: Photovoltaic Electrolysis and Fuel Cell (Intermediate)
  • Experiment 10: Investigation of Photovoltaic Cells (Advanced)
  • Experiment 11: Diffusion of Hydrogen and Oxygen Through the Fuel Cell and Silicon Rubber Tubing (Advanced)
  • Food for Thought--Energy and Chemical Potential Energy
  • Our Energy Future
  • So How Do Fuel Cells Fit In To The Future Energy ?
  • Physical Properties of Hydrogen and Oxygen
  • What is in a Fuel Cell?
  • Trouble shooting notes, problems, and observations.
  • References and Resources

  Bob Hockaday and the Power Holster        
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