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Static Electricity Experiment—Tracking Electrostatic Charges

How can we tell whether an item is charged electrostatically? This super simple piece of apparatus is easy to make and use and will definitely intrigue your students. This is yet another example of induction (when a charged item attracts a neutral one). The concept is addressed and touched upon, though for a more thorough explanation, you'll want to check out one or two of the other activities in this series., 

Written instructions are designed to go straight into students hands so you can literally print and go— writing prompts help focus student writing and lab sheets are available for students who need more structure and support. 

Concepts Addressed
• Charged items attract neutral ones.
• Invisible charges can produce real forces.
• Electrostatic fields are non-contact forces.

Materials Needed
paper, pencil, binder clip + some type of charged object like a charging rod, balloon, or Van de Graaff

Time Required
This lab takes about 30 mins.
Student Sheets
• Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 

Static Electricity Experiment—Tracking Electrostatic Charges


    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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