The H2fromH2O Outreach Project


In 2010, the H2fromH2O project was seed funded as part of an NSF postdoctoral (ACC-F) fellowship. The project involves using simple homebuilt amperostats to control the electrolysis of water to its elemental components, hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2). As shown below, two kits of 10 electrostations each were assembled. Each kit contains everything necessary for an instructor of 6 classes (30-40 students each) to perform the experiment in groups of 3-4.

The website www.H2fromH2O.org is under development as a resource for both prospective and participating instructors at the middle school and high school levels.

The H2fromH2O Kits are available for check out for free by local middle school science teachers, as well as and high school chemistry teachers. Each Kit contains the following components:

•10 Analog Electrostations (amperostats)
•10 Nickel wire assemblies for quantitative gas measurements
•10 Sets of alligator clips for kit assembly
•10 12V Battery assemblies
•60 Student datasheets (consumables)
•1 x 16V polycrystalline solar panel (10” x 10”, generates 500 mA under 1 sun)
• 2 x Instructor lesson plans + Teacher manuals
•1 x Bound assembly manual
• 1 x 500 g bottle of sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) electrolyte

Left: Two 10-electrostation kits used in the loan-out program (no charge, all reagents and supplies included) to local middle and high school teachers: lesson plans, electrostations, electrode assemblies and the solar panel demo unit.

Above: An assembled electrostation used in a Saturday Science program (Juice from Juice) for local teachers at Caltech.

Participating Schools and Programs
As of June 2012, the H2fromH2O Kits  have been used by over 800 middle school and high school students in the greater Los Angeles area, specifically within the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys. The following schools have benefited from the H2fromH2O kits, at no cost!

•Pasadena High School (Pasadena CA)
•El Serreno Middle School & Magnet Center (Los Angeles)
•Academy of Scientific Exploration Middle School (March)
Cesar Chavez Learning Academies (San Fernando, CA)
•Lawrence Middle School (Chatsworth CA)
•Wilson Middle School (Pasadena CA)
•West Adams Prep HS (Los Angeles)

Other beneficiaries of H2fromH2O
•Seattle’s Hub for Industry-driven Nanotechnology Education
North Seattle Community College
•Caltech ‘Juice from Juice’ Workshops
for local middle and high school teachers

MJR_PHS-1The PI (Mike Rose) in action  at Pasadena High School (Los Angeles) leading a discussion about renewable energy and H2.




A teacher learns about the H2fromH2O Kit at a ”Teach the Teachers” (Seattle, WA).





Caltech undergrad Tina Ding led a one-day lesson on renewable energy and H2 generation at El Serrento Middle School in Los Angeles.





Local middle school teachers and students are making H2 using sunlight! (Caltech)





Relevant Publications

J. R. McKone, S. Ardo, J. D. Blakemore, P. J. Bracher, J. L. Dempsey, T. V. Darnton, M. C. Hansen, W. H. Harman, M. J. Rose, M. G. Walter, S. Dasgupta, J. R. Winkler, and H. B. Gray. “The Solar Army: A Case Study in Outreach Based on Solar Photoelectrochemistry”. Rev. Adv. Sci. Eng. 2014, Accepted. Link