This section offers a collection of fuel cell experiments, lesson plans, and other teaching materials for teachers to use in the classroom. Below these resources, you will find information about fuel cell demonstration kits and a list of grants for science teachers.
Teacher Resources & Lesson Plans
A World in Motion Fuel Cell Challenge – Geared towards Middle School (grades 6-8), the Fuel Cell Challenge includes a variety of activities to introduce students to the development and use of fuel cells, types of fuel cells, and hands-on experiments with a PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cell to produce electricity to power an electric motor.
EIA Energy Kids: Teacher Guide – U.S. Energy Information Administration site provides energy lessons that use this website as a resource.
Energy Education - Funded by the U. S. Department of Energy and the Texas State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), this site introduces scientific principles of energy and fuels, the nature and extent of renewable and nonrenewable energy resources, the economics and environmental effects of energy use, and energy technology. Has 34 activities/investigations.
Energy Education and Workforce Development – The U.S. Department of Energy’s educational Web site that provides lesson plans, labs, projects and activities for grades K-12 on energy-related topics, including hydrogen and fuel cells.
Environmental Education and Training Program (EETAP) – The national training program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Environmental Education established through the National EE Act of 1990.
Environmental Literacy Council – Research and teaching resources for the environment.
Fuel Cells in Transportation: Teacher’s Guide – A lesson outline from the California Fuel Cell Partnership that teaches how a fuel cell works and how it is applied in transportation.
Fueling the Hydrogen Economy – An online course developed by the EERC and the University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Continuing Education, focused on teaching students about the emerging hydrogen industry.
Great Lakes Fuel Cell Education Partnership – group of colleges and universities that creates innovative fuel cell-related education and training programs through curriculum development and enhancement; professional development; and partnerships with high schools, institutions of higher education, businesses and government entities.
H2 Educate: Teacher’s Guide– A lesson guide from the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) for teaching fuel cells and hydrogen to intermediate and secondary school students.
H2E3 - Introductory Level Materials – for first and second year engineering courses from the Hydrogen Energy in Engineering Education (H2E3 ) program is a project of the Schatz Energy Research Center and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Curriculum developed for H2E3 includes a wide range of materials: slide shows for lecture presentations, lab handouts, data files, and instructional videos.
Hydrogen as Fuel: Teacher’s Guide – A lesson outline from the California Fuel Cell Partnership that teaches the properties of hydrogen and how it is stored in vehicles.
Hydrogen Technology and Energy Curriculum (HyTEC) project – Developed and field-tested a module titled “Investigating Alternative Energy: Hydrogen & Fuel Cells.” This module was developed by SEPUP of The Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University, and is published by LAB-AIDS, Inc.
KidWind - The KidWind project promotes wind power through tools and training programs for students of all ages. Holds free workshops and has lots of great resources on their website, including the free WindWwise Education curriculum and incorporating fuel cells and wind power together.
National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF) – A private non-profit organization dedicated to advancing environmental education in its many forms. NEETF’s Education and Environment (K-12) programs strive to build a strong connection between environmental education and the formal K-12 education sectors.
New Mexico Solar Energy Association (NMSEA) – A summary of NMSEA Solar Energy Curricula/Projects, including an electrolysis experiment and fuel cell information.
Renewable Energy Lesson Plans – A set of K-8 lesson plans focused on a range of renewable energy technologies from the Texas State Energy Conservation Office.
Science Lesson Plans – Lesson Planet provides links to teacher-approved lesson plans in physical science, earth science, the environment, and other related topics – search for fuel cell or hydrogen.
Smithsonian Institution National Science Resource Center - provides curriculum, publications, professional development, and other services that support the improvement of science teaching.
Ten80 Foundation - dedicated to increasing interest in STEM careers, improving achievement in STEM subjects and helping schools improve critical thinking & problem-solving skills through the application of STEM. Incorporates fuel cells into its Ten80 Student Racing Challenge: NASCAR STEM Initiative.
UCSB Science Line – The University of California, Santa Barbara’s Material Research Laboratory’s ”Ask-a-Scientist” project enables K-12 students and teachers to directly ask expert UCSB researchers their science questions.
BP A+ for Energy – $5,000 and $10,000 grants are offered to K-12 teachers for innovation and excellence in teaching energy and/or energy conservation in the classroom. Teachers in Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Alberta, Canada are eligible to apply.
Kids in Need - Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. Grant awards range from $100 to $500 each and are used to finance creative classroom projects.
Live Green Teacher Grants – General Motors and Discovery Education challenges middle school teachers to develop innovative ideas for furthering environmental and energy sustainability. Teachers will identify an issue or problem, create a plan to address it, and integrate the topic into classroom teaching to win $1000 grant.
London Schools Hydrogen Challenge – The Challenge is aimed at 11-14 year old London school children to introduce them to cleaner energy and specifically about hydrogen technologies and their applications. All the teaching resources are provided on this website, along with information for teachers on implementing the Challenge in schools and information about the Grand Final and the exciting prizes on offer for both schools and students.
Shell Science Lab Challenge – invites middle and high school science teachers (Grades 6–12) in the United States and Canada (with special attention to urban and underrepresented groups) to illustrate replicable approaches to science lab instruction utilizing limited school and laboratory resources. Teachers and schools submitting top entries will receive additional laboratory tools, resources, and rich professional development opportunities with winners receiving a school science lab makeover support package valued at $20,000.
Toshiba America Foundation – Contributes to the quality of science and mathematics education in U.S. communities by investing in projects designed by classroom teachers to improve science and mathematics education for students in grades 7-12. The Foundation reviews hundreds of proposals every year and has a total annual grants budget of approximately $500,000.
Toyota Tapestry – The largest K-12 science teacher grant program in the U.S., providing 50 grants of up to $10,000 each to K-12 science teachers, as well as a minimum of 20 mini-grants of up to $2,500 each for projects smaller in scope. These grants are awarded for creative, innovative classroom projects in the fields of environmental education, physical science, and literacy and science education. Toyota Tapestry has awarded several grants to teachers to purchase fuel cell kits.
Fuel Cell Demonstrations Units/Kits
The Fuel Cell Store is a great place to start when looking for fuel cell products, education kits and other materials such as stacks, components and electrolyzers, for the classroom. There are lots of companies manufacturing fuel cell kits, experiments and lessons, including:
There are many science projects, kits or competitions focused on robotics and/or alternative vehicles where fuel cells could be incorporated.
Boosting Energy, Science, and Technology – An annual high school and middle school robotics competition.
Destination Zero Carbon - a clean energy education program and a global racing federation designed to promote environmental awareness for students through a fun and engaging platform. Built around the excitement of competition, the program features a “design-build-and-race” of various scale, future energy tech cars using zero emission technologies, and incorporates relevant content in Science, Mathematics, Earth Science, Information Technology, and Design, modeled after the national secondary school curriculum.
Gears Educational System – GEARS-EDS (a product of DEPCO LLC) offers a Surface Mobility Platform that was a fitted with a Heliocentris 50 Watt PEM fuel cell and a 250 liter Ovonics metal hydride storage bottle.