Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Make a Static Wand

We are studying electricity this week in Energy and this is a great (and simple) experiment in static electricity.

You will need:
a spool of thread
a pair of scissors
a piece of tape
a table
a pencil
a styrofoam packing peanut
carpet or a piece of fuzzy fabric

I had students work in pairs. Using the scissors, cut a piece of thread approx. 5 inches long. Tape it to the edge of the table so that the thread hangs down. Thrust your pencil into the styrofoam packing peanut so that it sticks on the end of the pencil. You now have a "static wand." Rub the packing peanut vigorously on a carpet or piece of fuzzy fabric to charge your "static wand." Take your wand over to the table, hold it close to the piece of string, and observe what happens. Then take your "static wand" (you may have to charge it again) to other objects in the classroom and see what else you can attract to it. Keep notes in your Science journal.

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