Education Technology

Energy from Foods-Part II

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' explore how an electrochemical cell works. They use a Voltage Sensor to measure the electrical energy produced when the distance between the elctrodes is varied. They also determine the factors that affect the voltage of an electrochemical cell.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the TI-73 to the CBL™ unit
  • Plug the voltage sensor in channel 1 on the CBL 2
  • Download DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 25 - 29 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

  • Complete the Hypothesis section on the Data Collection and Analysis page and predict if varying the distance of the electrodes on a fruit or vegetable change the voltage


  • Follow the Activity procedures:
  • Cut slits in one fruit or vegetable ranging from 1 to 6 cm apart
  • Insert a zinc strip in one slit and a copper strip into the other slit
  • Attach the positive lead to the copper strip and negative lead to the zinc strip
  • Measure the voltage across the fruit or vegetable
  • Record the distance between the electrodes
  • Repeat the process for each distance and measure the voltage
  • Repeat the activity with other fruits and vegetables
  • Graph readings of voltage versus distance
  • Understand how electrochemical cells work and how as the distance between the electrodes increases the voltage decreases
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary