The Hydrogen Technology and Energy Curriculum (HyTEC) project has been underway since 2004, and after much hard work we are nearing a momentous milestone. In collaboration with SERC and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley, LabAids, Inc. is about to begin offering a commercial version of our HyTEC curriculum. The cornerstone of the curriculum is a bench-top electrolyzer and fuel cell kit that high school students will work with in their chemistry or other physical science courses. With this bench-top kit, students will produce hydrogen via electrolysis and then use the hydrogen to power a small fuel cell and run a fan motor. Students will collect data while running the lab experiment and will use the data to estimate the energy conversion efficiency of the fuel cell.
The design of the fuel cell/electrolyzer kit is based on a prototype that SERC developed as part of the HyTEC project. We then worked with LabAids to turn our prototype kit into a commercial product that could be produced in large quantities at reasonable cost.
In addition to the bench-top kit, the curriculum consists of six activities. Students begin and end the curriculum exercise by participating in a role-play activity where they examine the use of fuel cell buses as a way of meeting sustainable transportation goals for a city government. In between the bookend role- play activities, students learn basic chemistry concepts, such as oxidation-reduction reactions, heats of reaction, gas laws, and stoichiometry, all in the context of hydrogen and fuel cells.
We’re very excited to see this curriculum about to hit the streets. LabAids will begin marketing and supporting the curriculum nationwide later this year.