Can the Car Run on Hydrogen?


Palm Ng

Bayside High School, Bayside, Queens


Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

August 2008



Aim:  Can the car run on Hydrogen?  (A Hands-on Activity)



  SWBAT: 1) work in teams to assemble and operate a H2 fuel cell car

                  2) explain the chemical reactions in the production of fuel to run the car

                  3) write the balanced chemical reactions                                 



Materials:  The Intelligent Fuel Cell Car Experiment Kit (

                 2 AA batteries

                 100mL distilled water


Students are to work together in groups of 4-6,

            Read the instructions: assembly and operating. (PDF)

            Everyone must do at least two steps individually and take turns.


Ask:  Are there any questions?


Delegate one person to sign out a kit.

One person comes up to get distilled water.


Groups are to follow instructions and put the car together.


Do not operate cars until the teacher has checked their finished car

and given the Okay.


Run the car on a clean flat surface and enjoy!

Does the car run?   Why or why not?  (see Tips for Success )




HW:  1) write out the chemical reactions that occurred in order for the car to run.

              Give half reactions and label the electrodes.


          2) Give two possible ways to test and improve the car


3)      Give 2 positives and 2 negatives for the usage of Hydrogen as fuel for cars

and its effect on the environment.


          4) Research one other alternative source of fuel.



NYSPS ( New York State Performance Standards)


S1c Demonstrates an understanding of chemical reactions


S4d Demonstrates an understanding of the impact of technology


S5c Uses evidence from reliable sources to develop descriptions, explanations, and makes appropriate adjustments and improvements.


S5e Identifies problems, proposes and implements solutions; and evaluates the accuracy, design, and outcomes of investigations


S5f Works individually and in teams to collect and share information and ideas


S7d Explains a scientific or procedure to other students