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Static Electricity - Part 1









Static Electricity.

It hurts.



• Know that there are two types of electrical charge.



• Know that negative charges are small and light, so can move easily.



• Be able to explain how insulators can become charged by friction.










Task 1 - Starter




I know the answer!




Discuss in pairs or threes:




1) What is a conductor?


2) What kinds of materials are good conductors?


3) What kinds of materials are poor conductors?


4) What is the scientific term for a poor conductor?


5) What does the word static mean?


6) What does the word current mean?




Your teacher will tell you which questions to discuss.











Task 2 - Ideas about static electricity




I had an experience with static electricity.






How many of you have had an experience with static electricity?




What form did it take?




Put your hand up if you would like to tell the class about your experience.




Your teacher may write some of your ideas, suggestions, and comments on the board.











Task 3 - Simulation



This simulation shows how a person can become charged with static electricity.




Move his leg to charge him up, then watch what happens when you put his hand near the door handle.

How does the amount of charge affect the distance the spark can jump?


Thanks to PhET for this awesome simulation :)



HTML5 technology!  Woop Woop!




 Browser doesn't support HTML5?



Use the Java version instead! :)





Click this image to load the simulation in full screen mode.


Embed functionality in Internet Explorer is not currently working for this applet.  Use this full screen version instead.







Check compatibility.













Task 4 - An electrifying experience




Charged up!



I do my hair this way every day :)





A Van de Graaff generator is very effective at transferring charge...






Fun demonstrations include:


• A person being charged up.


Sparks jumping from one person to another.


Foil cake cases placed on the dome.


Fluorescent tubes held near the dome.


Soap bubbles being repelled by the dome.





Can you explain what you see, using ideas about electrical charges?



Teacher notes will be available here, at some point...






A simple schematic diagram of the Van de Graaff.







This diagram shows how a Van de Graaff generator works.








Task 5



Think hard!




Write an explanation of:



(i) how insulators can become charged by friction.


(ii) how static shocks can occur, with an example.






Use keywords from this list in your explanation:



charge     friction     transfer     positive     negative     excess     deficit     small     light     big     heavy     build-up     earth     ground     shock     repel     spread out









Charges are transferred between the objects.











Task 6 - Plenary









The Van de Graaff generator can do some things you haven't seen!




Your teacher will show you how...


     • to make very large sparks.


     • to do some fun tricks.




Teacher guidance notes will be linked in here, at some point...














Useful or dangerous?!




Find out:



at least 3 uses of static electricity.

when static electricity can be dangerous.




Write up your ideas in your notebook, and include pictures or diagrams with your explanation.  The homework task will be available here as a word document, at some point...