This collection of static electricity labs and experiments with interactive worksheets will help students understand how electrostatic charges behave and move. Students can see experimentally that like charges repel and opposites attract. They will begin to develop the basis for understanding circuits as well as atomic structure in a more concrete way. Make your own electroscopes and Leyden Jars and use them for years to come.
- How can uncharged objects be attracted?
- Are neutral/uncharged objects ever repelled?
- What is an example of a non-contact force?
- Which of the subatomic particles is/are mobile?
- What are the charges on subatomic particles?
- How do objects become electrostatically charged?
- How can objects become charged without being touched?
- What causes static electricity?
- Why is simple friction not enough to create static charge?
- What is the turboelectric series?
- How can a charge be carried from place to place?
- How can a Leyden jar hold more or less charge?
- Charged items attract neutral ones.
- Electrons and protons create the charges behind electrostatic forces.
- Electrons are negatively charged; protons are positively charged
- Electrostatic charge can be stored
- Electrostatic fields are non-contact forces.
- Friction isn't the cause of static charge, rather it's the nature of the materials involved.
- Invisible charges can produce real forces.
- Items can be charged at a distance.
- Items develop different static charges depending what they are made of.
- Like charges repel.
- Static charges can be made visible using common materials.
- Static charges can cause objects to move.
- Static charges develop well on smooth spheres but tend to leak off of pointed, rough surfaces
- Static charges develop when unlike materials come in close contact.
- The closer a charged item is to an object, the greater the force it exerts.
- The electrostatic charge increases on a Leyden Jar as the charge is added
- The likelihood of a substance to gain or lose electrons depends on the nature of the material.
- The shock collected by a Leyden Jar depends upon its size and how much its charged.
- The turboelectric series ranks materials based on their tendency to give up or attract electrons.
- Typically only electrons leave their atoms.
- Unlike charges attract
- Van de Graaff machines develop static charges.
Learn to use scientific equipment:
Leyden Jar, electrostatic charging rods
aluminum foil, balloons, binder clip , charging fabric, charging rod, straw, clear electrons (directions included), comb, confetti (small bits of paper and foil), Copies of the worksheets, cotton and/or wool cloth, DIY electroscope (glass jar), flannel (cotton), foil, fur, hole punch, index card, Leyden jar, magic Scotch™ tape, Magnets , paper, paperclips, pencil, pieces of paper, plastic wrap, PVC Rods, rubber bands, scissors, string, Van de Graaff machine
Extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to.
Each lab takes about 30 mins.
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting
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