9 Awesome Science Tricks Using Static Electricity! - Phenomenon

Contributor
brusspup illusions and science
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

The phenomenon from the video (9-33s)  involves charging a styrofoam plate by rubbing a cloth on it. This charged plate is repelled by another styrofoam plate and slides to the side when stacked on top of this plate. At the same time, this charged plate sticks  to the hand. This phenomenon can be used at the beginning of a unit on Intermolecular forces at atomic level and their impact on the macro properties such as melting point, boiling points and vapor pressure. Guiding questions or question frames may help students, such as, What happened when the plate was rubbed with the cloth? Do you think the plates will behave the same way if the other plate was rubbed with the cloth as well? Why did the plate stick to the hand?

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • High School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

- none -

Performance Expectations

HS-PS1-3 Plan and conduct an investigation to gather evidence to compare the structure of substances at the bulk scale to infer the strength of electrical forces between particles.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on understanding the strengths of forces between particles, not on naming specific intermolecular forces (such as dipole-dipole). Examples of particles could include ions, atoms, molecules, and networked materials (such as graphite). Examples of bulk properties of substances could include the melting point and boiling point, vapor pressure, and surface tension.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include Raoult’s law calculations of vapor pressure.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This phenomena can be used to help learners understand electrostatic attractions. The charged plate repels the uncharted plate and is attracted to the hand. Through questioning, students will be able to conclude that something (electrons) were added by the cloth to charge the plate and charging resulted into either electrostatic repulsion or attraction. This phenomenon will help be a good way to explore how microscopic attractions or repulsions will impact the bulk properties such as melting and boiling points.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
After watching the video, students would ask questions for making sense of the phenomena in small groups. They should be then encouraged to ask these questions as a whole class. Students could try this experiment themselves and take it a step further to charge the other plate to understand the nature of these electrostatic forces by drawing these forces at micro level.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
This resource provides an introduction to the concept of electrostatic attractions and repulsions, which is a part of this DCI but can be modified further to address the full text of this DCI. After watching and seeking possible explanation of this phenomenon, students could learn about states of matter and IMFs using PhET simulations https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/balloons-and-static-electricity. Students could further explore how these electrostatic attractions at micro level (atomic level) impact properties such as melting point, boiling point, vapor pressure etc.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
This resource provides a phenomenon for static electricity, opposite charges and electrostatic forces and addresses the cause and effect relationship between charged plates and attraction and repulsion.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: - none -

  • Instructional Supports: - none -

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -