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Static Electricity Experiment—Building Leyden Jars

Construct a Leyden jar from simple materials. Developed in the middle 1700s the orginal jars were large enough to give a significant shock. These tiny versions are safe but still give a memorable shock. Some students are delighted to shock themselves and others delight in watching them ;) 


Related Resources
Static Electricity Experiments


Concepts Addressed
• Typically only electrons leave their atoms.
• Electrons are negatively charged; protons are positively charged
• Electrons and protons create the charges behind electrostatic forces.
• Items develop different static charges depending what they are made of.

Materials Needed
paper clip; small, lidded plastic container; foil; glue; pushpin.

Time Required
This lab takes about 30 mins.


Prep Required

Assembling the Leyden jars (these last from year to year once made).

Student Sheets
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Static Electricity Experiment—Building Leyden Jars


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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