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Age range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins | 30-59 mins
  • D&T
  • Engineering
  • Physics

Hydrogen power

How to make hydrogen from water.

Hydrogen is an alternative to petrol and diesel fuels for combustion engines. The only by-product of using it is water, so it does not harm the environment or cause pollution. Hydrogen fuel cells could potentially be used to power cars, buses and even aircraft.

In this activity learners will make use of the theme of the future of flight to investigate one of the potential energy sources of the future. They will discuss the problems associated with the use of oil-based fuels and how the use of hydrogen fuels could solve them. They will then produce hydrogen from water and investigate ways to make it work better. This activity could be used as a main lesson to teach about power supplies and renewable energy within a transport context. It could also be used as part of a wider scheme of learning to teach about sustainability and environmental issues.

What you'll need:

  • Paperclips
  • Glass vessels
  • Water from a tap
  • 9V batteries
  • Rubber bands
  • Pencils
  • Playdough or modelling clay
  • Crocodile clips
  • Bendy straws
  • Test tubes

And please do share your learning highlights and final creations with us on social media @IETeducation or send them via email to to be featured in our online gallery.

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