Activity 3C Part 1: Measuring Obesity by Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Human Electrochemical Cell

The teacher will hold up what looks like a ping-pong ball (the energy ball) and ask the class to decide if it can be made to light up just by holding it. The teacher will hold the ball by two fingers, making sure not to touch the two electrical contacts on the bottom. The teacher then touches the two electrodes on the bottom of the ball so it lights up. After students have seen the Energy Ball demonstration, place them into groups and give each group an Energy Ball. Students try to duplicate what the teacher has demonstrated and explain what happened and why.
Students will learn how to use a multimeter as an ammeter to determine if their bodies have any electrical current associated with it.
Students will become part of an electrochemical cell. By holding two different metals, one in each hand, and connecting these metals to a multimeter, the students will become part of a simple series circuit which will generate electrical current that can be measured in the microamps (μA) scale of a multimeter. 
  • Explain how an electrochemical cell works
  • Explain how a human can be part of an electrochemical cell
  • Determine which materials make the best electrodes in an electrical cell
  • Make observations and inferences; collect, graph, and analyze data

Electrochemical cell, electrode, electrical cell, electric current 


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Activity Code: 
Unit Reference: 
Corpulosity: A Study of Obesity
Lesson Reference: 
Lesson 3: Fat: Who Says? (Measuring Obesity)