In this lab station activity, students will move around the classroom exploring different topics related to electricity, such as static electricity, charging by friction, induction, conductors, and electroscopes. Students will use the materials and instructions provided at each station to conduct demonstrations of electricity phenomena and will record their observations and make inferences. Each phenomenon observed will be discussed later as a class. This is a great inquiry activity to use as an introduction before teaching students about electric charge. As you go through the related topics in your lecture, you can refer back to the students’ experiences in the lab stations.
How can I use this?
- Real world application of electric charge
- Guided inquiry activity to introduce static electricity phenomena
- As demonstrations for: static electricity, charging by friction, induction, conductors, and electroscopes
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
I love lab stations as a way to get students out of their seats, but I especially love these lab stations because they get students using every day objects to explore static electricity phenomena on their own. I love that students can investigate these topics autonomously and easily complete these 6 demonstrations without teacher help, prior to knowing anything about the topics. It sets us up for great discussions during lecture as students are able to make meaningful connections between what they experienced in these lab stations and the content being covered in notes/lecture.
What is included?
- 2 pages of teacher implementation notes (PDF)
- 1 page student handout (PDF)
- 1 page answer key (PDF)
- 6 hands-on lab station cards (PDF) for you to print, cut and laminate for use year after year
What materials will I need to have in my classroom to set this up?
- : Balloons (1 per pair) and pieces of paper
- : An empty aluminum soda can, PVC pipe, cloth
- : PVC pipe, cloth, tape, match (with the end cut off), thread, beaker
- : Cloth, large Styrofoam plate, small Styrofoam plate
- : Styrofoam cup, scissors, PVC pipe or other plastic rod, cloth, sink with running water
- : Balloons (1 per pair)
How much class time will this take?
This activity takes one 50-minute class period.
How does this connect to NGSS*?
This lab station activity addresses the following standard:
- : Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction.
It also incorporates the following science and engineering practice:
- Develop and use models
Lastly, it connects to the following crosscutting concepts:
- Cause and effect
- Energy and matter
What if I want more related to this?
What if I have a question?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to answer any questions you have!
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*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.