Fully Charged Battery Box
In 2019, the Faraday Institution launched the “Fully Charged Battery Box” – a resource designed to enable researchers and teachers to share ideas relating to battery research in a relatable way for 7- to 11-year olds.
There is currently a shortage of battery scientists and engineers to serve the growing fields of energy storage research and battery technology in the UK. This sector needs to fill 400,000 jobs if it is to meet the target of delivering net zero emissions by 2050, the same number of people it took to put man on the moon . One of the goals of the Faraday Institution is to create a dynamic and diverse pool of talent for the sector.
The optimum time to enthuse a young person about careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is by the age of 10 , after which time aspirations can drop significantly. Key to engagement with science is building up of science capital, which is a significant predictor of a person’s likelihood to pursue a science career. The way science is represented through science education can be very influential in shaping whether young people go on to form science aspirations or consider themselves ‘suited’ to science. The role that teachers and STEM Ambassadors can play in nurturing STEM career aspirations is key. 
In 2019, the Faraday Institution launched the “Fully Charged Battery Box” – a high quality, curriculum-linked resource designed to enable researchers and teachers to share ideas relating to battery research in an engaging and relatable way to 7- to 11-year olds.
Princess Anne and students investigate the Fully Charged Battery Box at the recent STEM careers fair at Sandhurst
The boxes are packed full of “hands-on” activities for pupils to learn about electricity and batteries. They are designed to inform young people about real world problems that the research community is tackling and light a spark of curiosity in young minds about STEM careers, particularly in the energy storage sector.
The Faraday Institution collaborated on this project with Renee Watson of the Curiosity Box, who prepares, administers and distributes these resources.
|By the numbers|
|7,500||Number of pupils reached|
|44||Number of STEM Ambassadors trained in our community|
A video recorded by Renee Watson of the Curiosity Box
The boxes are allowing the Faraday Institution to engage with large numbers of pupils without needing to physically visit lots of schools. They provide teachers and researchers, trained STEM Ambassadors, and other members of the Faraday Institution research community who share the passion for inspiring young people with the tools to be successful. Over 70 boxes have been donated and are being piloted around the UK and Ireland via the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) network of specialist teachers.
The programme is integrated with the Faraday Institution doctoral training programme. All PhD researchers are trained as STEM Ambassadors and a number of them are featured in the box through links to spotlight videos.
Each box contains resources and a handbook for teachers to aid pupils to:
- use their knowledge of electrical circuits to make a gift card that lights up;
- make a lemon battery, enabling them to explore different sources of power by constructing a simple circuit that powers a digital clock without using store-bought batteries; and
- make an eco e-racer. Pupils can race cars they construct that move using energy stored in rubber bands, then try and power the cars using energy from a battery.
A teacher/leader kit is also supplied with easy instructions & curriculum mapping:
- All in the context of a real global challenge
- Create and make a prototype electric car
- Fuses STEM with other curriculum areas like art, literacy, maths, geography and history
- Adds to school STEM resources
This is EXACTLY what we need! It’s so topical, and the fact that it’s all in one box is so useful!”
Primary Science Teacher
I loved how I wasn’t told the answer straight away and it made my brain really think.’
Primary School Pupil
In Spring 2021, the Faraday Institution sponsored the creation of a ‘Fully Charged Nano Box’ of resources for families home schooling.
4. Long 2020
Success story published February 2021.