Building a Piezoelectric Generator

Type of Resource



Students learn how to build simple piezoelectric generators to power LEDs. To do this, they incorporate into a circuit a piezoelectric element that converts movements they make (mechanical energy) into electrical energy, which is stored in a capacitor (short-term battery). Once enough energy is stored, they flip a switch to light up an LED. Students also learn how much (surprisingly little) energy can be converted using the current state of technology for piezoelectric materials.

Performance Expectations

HS-PS3-1   Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.

HS-PS3-3   Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.