The building blocks of battery technology: using modified tower block game sets to explain and aid the understanding of rechargeable Li-ion batteries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham


While Li-ion batteries are abundant in everyday life from smart phones to electric vehicles, there are a lack of educational resources that can explain their operation, particularly their rechargeable nature. It is also important that any such resource can be understood by a wide range of age groups and backgrounds. To this end, we describe how modified tower block games sets, such as Jenga, can be used to explain the operation of Li-ion batteries. The sets can also be utilized to explain more advanced topics such as battery degradation and challenges with charging these batteries at high rates. In order to make the resource more inclusive, we also illustrate modifications to prepare tactile tower block sets, so that the activity is also suitable for blind and partially sighted students. Feedback from a range of groups supports the conclusion that the tower block sets are a useful tool to explain Li-ion battery concepts.


Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Early online date10 Jun 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jun 2020


  • Hands-On Learning/Manipulatives, Demonstrations, Electrochemistry, Oxidation/Reduction, Oxidation State, Solid State Chemistry, Materials Science