Friday, May 15, 2020

Magnetism & Electricity in Science Club 1

This week's focus was Static Electricity. Next week we will move into Electrical Currents. We also talked about the discoveries of four different scientists, as well as the relationship between Electricity and Magnetism.

Experiment with generating static electricity at home. All experiments and tricks with static electricity work best on cold, dry days. Plastic and nylon hold static electricity better than other substances. Synthetic materials will develop a charge even when there is a good deal of moisture in the air.

Combinations that generate static electricity:

rubbing amber, plastic, styrofoam, vinyl, or rubber with WOOL
if you have a wool sweater, wool sock, piece of wool felt, wool dryer ball

rubbing acrylic, plexiglass, or glass with SILK
if you have a play silk, silk scarf, silk tie, silk handkerchief, silk pillowcase

rubbing plastic with PAPER
if you have a plastic straw and a folded piece of writing paper

rubbing a balloon with HAIR
if you have a blown-up balloon

It can take some experimenting to see what works for you. Once you've found a combination that works well, try doing several of the experiments with your charged item. You may have to re-charge it.

Friday, May 15

Prior to Meeting

During the Meeting

  • review the results of student at-home activities
  • discuss Thales of Miletus (600 BCE) and William Gilbert (1570)

    "Electricity was first discovered by the Greeks in about 600 BCE. A man named Thales found that when he rubbed a piece of amber with some cloth, the amber attracted small objects."

    "In about 1570 AD, an Englishman named William Gilbert carried out similar investigations. He called the effects he saw 'electricity,' after the Greek word for amber, which is elektron. The type of electricity with which Thales and Gilbert experimented is called static electricity, which means it does not move."

  • read "Electricity in the Sky" explanation of lightning on pages 56-57 of 175 More Science Experiments to Amuse and Amaze Your Friends
  • have a student share a static electricity trick with a plastic straw and a piece of paper -- it was a big hit!
  • read "The Hows and Whys" explanation of static electricity on page 53 of Awesome Physics Experiments for Kids
  • "When you rub a balloon on your hair, some of the electrons from your hair transfer to the balloon, making the balloon more negatively charged. The cornstarch goo has a neutral charge, meaning it has the same number of protons and electrons. When the negatively charged balloon is near the goo, the electrons of the goo move away from, or are repelled by, the electrons in the balloon, and the protons of the balloon move towards, or are attracted to, the balloon."

  • recall last week's experiments with magnets and how positive was attracted to negative, and vice versa; recall the Atom Board and building elements with protons, neutrons, and electrons (build a model of Carbon on the Atom Board with 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons as an example); if we can free an electron from an atom and force it to move, we can create electricity
  • what is the relationship between magnetism and electricity?
  • discuss Hans Christian Oersted (1820) and Michael Faraday (1831)

    "Magnetism causes a compass needle to point north, unless it is in the presence of a different magnetic field. In 1820, Hans Christian Oersted observed that a compass needle did not point north when he held it near an electric current flowing through a wire. After further experimentation, he concluded that the electric current in the wire produced a magnetic field."

    "An electrical current was first generated in 1831 by Michael Faraday. He moved a magnet in and out of a coil of wire and found that this made an electric current flow through the wires."

  • look at a Faraday flashlight (aka a shake flashlight) and how it works

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