Students will learn about the basics of static electricity through 4 interactive stations where they will have first hand experience with static electricity on a small scale. Students will be introduced to what an atom is as well as an electron and why they are important.
North Carolina Science Standard
NC EX.4.P.1.2 Explain how electrically charged objects push or pull on other electrically charged objects and produce motion.
K-2-ETS1-1. Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
Electricity is all about electrons moving. When electrons move something happens. This is because electrons carry energy places.
Electrons can rub off the atoms of one thing and on to the atoms of another thing. This is what we call static electricity. When electrons rub off your shirt onto a balloon the balloon can stick to your shirt because the electrons moved. When we rub the balloon on our heads we charge the balloon. Once the balloon is charged it can pick up paper, move soda cans, etc.
Electron: Electrons are the parts of an atom that float around the center.
Atom: Absolutely everything is made of atoms! Atoms are tiny building blocks and electrons are even smaller parts of an atom.
1. Understanding what an atom and an electron is as well as electricity as a whole.
2. Learning what types of things are affected by static electricity and what is not.
4. Practicing Patience
Soda Can Race
-Soda cans 4-5
-Access to a sink
Collect supplies and gather soda cans in advance
Make sample Butterfly (link) and penguins (link)
Set-up 4 stations
1. Butterfly http://iheartcraftythings.com/static-electricity-butterfly-experimen.html
2. Dancing Ghosts https://sciencebob.com/make-a-static-powered-dancing-ghost/
3. Soda Can races https://www.exploratorium.edu/science_explorer/roller.html
4. Bending water http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/experiments/exp/bending-water-static-attraction/
1. Introduce the different stations and what they will be doing at each station
2. Have them break into groups and rotate through each station about 10 mins each
3. Meet together to debrief
1. Talk about static electricity and how it works and how each station relates to static electricity
What went well:
Overall, all the stations were successful and the students had a lot of fun making their hair messy by rubbing balloons on themselves!
What we would change:
Make sure you have an adult at each station to run the station. Do not pre-cut or make anything, give them the responsibility to make it work.