The Bologna Test


See the energy in a battery expressed as heat! The bologna test lets you visualize it as heat.


  • How do safety scientists and engineers solve problems?
  • Can we see the energy in a single button cell battery?

Problem to be Solved

  • Lithium-ion button batteries can cause severe injuries when swallowed.
  • Can the energy in a button cell battery be seen?


The Bologna Test

Age Group

Middle School


Electrical Power

Completion Time

2 Class Periods

Summary of Lab

In small groups, students will place a piece of bologna on a noncombustible surface. They will place one dropper full of saline in the center of the meat slice, then place a button cell lithium-ion battery in the pool of saline on the bologna. Using a timer, they will observe what happens each minute for 10 minutes.