Kosher Dill Current: Make Your Own Battery!

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This is an activity that demonstrates how batteries work using simple household materials. Learners use a pickle, aluminum foil and a pencil to create an electrical circuit that powers a buzzer. Most common batteries — such as car batteries and the batteries inside a flashlight — work on the same principle that the pickle battery works on: two metals suspended in an ion-rich liquid or paste separate an electric charge, creating an electrical current around a circuit. In this activity, the pickle provides the ion-rich liquid - pickles contain salt water, which is rich in ions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A pickle
  • A pencil
  • Aluminum foil (unused)
  • A pocket knife (not included in estimated materials cost)
  • 2 alligator-clip leads (available at RadioShack)
  • A piezo buzzer, 12V DC (at RadioShack, ask for the Archer 273-065B)


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Electrical Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Circuits
    • Energy

Informal Categories

  • Electronics
  • Food and Cooking


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • hear
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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