## Saturday, January 1, 2011

### Static Electricity Activities

Static Electricity: Electrical charges caused by friction
Friction: a force caused when one object rubs against another

Creating Static Electricity

Materials Needed: balloons, combs, piece of wool (old sock or sweater), piece of paper, very small pieces of paper, plastic ruler, (camera - optional), (sugar, pepper - optional)

Before each activity have students PREDICT what they think will happen.

Activities
1. Blow up a few balloons for the kids! Have the kids rub the balloons on their heads (and watch their hair stand up.) This is always good for a few laughs! Also have the camera ready!
2. Again, have the kids rub the balloons on their heads, then see if the balloons will stick to a wall.
3. Tear a sheet of paper into small pieces. Rub a piece of wool quickly back and forth on a balloon. Hold the balloon near the paper. (See what other light objects the balloon will pick up....sugar, pepper, etc.)
4. Rub plastic combs with wool.  Then have the kids comb their hair with the combs.
5. Rub a plastic comb with wool.  Then place the comb near a piece of paper.
6. Tear a sheet of paper into small pieces. Rub a piece of wool quickly back and forth over a comb (or ruler). Hold the comb (or ruler) over the paper.
7. Turn on the faucet.  Rub a comb with a piece of wool. Bring the comb near the water but do not touch the water. (Watch the water bend!)

 clipart by www.graphicsfactory.com
Have the students try to recall any other times they they experienced static electricity.

Possibilities:
1. Did they ever walk across a rug, then touch a metal doorknob? (Did they feel a zap?)
2. Did they ever take socks out of an electric dryer and have the socks stick together?
3. Did they ever come in from outside on a cold day and quickly pull their hats off? (What happened to their hair?)

Have students sketch pictures of their static electricity experiments in their science notebooks. Older students should write a description of their experiments.