Battery Concept Design

Type: Investigation

Theme: Architecture

Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Learning Target: Students will use math or OpenSCAD coding to create a concept design for an electrochemical battery.


Students will do this individually (you may share code if you produce entirely different concepts).

  1. Select an electrochemical battery to design.
  2. Choose whether to design it in OpenSCAD or the Desmos Calculator. If using the Desmos Calculator, the flow of energy (current) must be animated.
  3. Research your battery type.
  4. Sketch three different options. Sketches must show different potential designs. Spend at least 3 minutes on each sketch. Include annotations.
  5. Get a Peer Review from at least two students.
  6. Produce your final conceptual design in OpenSCAD or the Desmos Calculator. Please include the following.
    1. The anode: the compartment where oxidation occurs.
    2. The cathode: the compartment where reduction occurs.
    3. Electrolyte: It is made up of solutions of ions or molten salts which can conduct electricity.
    4. External pathway to allow the flow of electrons with a light bulb (or some other electricity-dependent item)
  7. Write two paragraphs explaining how your electrochemical battery works.


  1. Submit a Word document.
  2. Three sketches.
  3. Include a large image of your design. Please turn off all x, y, or z axes and axis numbers.
  4. Include the OpenSCAD code (as text) or a link to your Desmos graph.
  5. Written explanation. 
  6. Peer Review.


Code Example

//electrolytic cell
% color("yellow",0.5)union(){
scale([1.3,1,1])sphere( r=8,$fn=100,center=true);
translate([-8,0,0])sphere( r=3,$fn=100,center=true);
translate([9.5,0,0])sphere( r=1.6,$fn=100,center=true);
//copper anode
rotate([90,90,0])translate([-12,-2,0])scale([0.1,0.1,0.1])text("Copper anode (+)");
translate([-7,1.3,11.4])rotate([0,90,0])rotate([0,0,-44])linear_extrude(height = 7, center = false, convexity = 10, twist = 460, slices = 100)translate([2, 0, 0]) circle(r = .2);
//zinc negative cathode
rotate([90,90,0])translate([-10,1,0])scale([0.1,0.1,0.1])text("Zinc anode (-)");
translate([7,-1,11.4])rotate([0,-85,0])rotate([0,0,1224])linear_extrude(height = 7, center = false, convexity = 10, twist = 460, slices = 100)translate([2, 0, 0]) circle(r = .2);
//light bulb
translate([0,0,13])linear_extrude(height = 1, center = false, convexity = 20, twist = 2000, slices = 100)translate([.1, 0, 0]) circle(r = .6);
color("white")translate([0,0,15.4])sphere(1.5, $fn=100);

Animation Example


Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can model with mathematics.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts