Building Better Batteries

Eli Whitney Museum

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Monday, April 14th

Building Better Batteries


Vacation Program

  • Monday, April 14, 2014
  • 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Designed for ages 9 to 12

The Italian Volta built the first useful chemical batteries in Eli Whitney's time. A hundred years later, powerful batteries were bulky, so Henry Ford powered his early automobiles with gasoline. Two hundred years after Volta, we are struggling to catch up on battery technology for cars. In the last 30 years, engineers have made impressive progress on batteries for phones and laptops. So big battery progress is likely.

Construct a battery laboratory to make and test safe batteries. Use common metals (zinc & copper) and kitchen chemicals (vinegar, lemon juice, salt). Your lab will include a digital MultiMeter. Learn to measure voltage and amps, what each is, and why they matter. Use a mock up of a Tesla to test batteries mechanically.

Forrest Gittelson is a former apprentice working on a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Yale. Dylan Hixon volunteered at the Museum when he was at Yale. He is a Venture Capitalist who has followed the development of the Tesla.

Forrest Gittleson, Scientest, and Dylan Hixon, Investor

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