To understand electricity, you have to first understand the atom, the basic building block of all matter. Matter is all of the “stuff” in the universe. Matter is made up of atoms. Atoms have a nucleus, an inner core that is made up of neutrons which have no charge, and protons which have a positive charge. Atoms also have orbitals, particles that are located around the nucleus. These are called electrons and these have a negative charge.
If you had some salt and pepper and you mixed the two together, how long would it take you? Not long if you know how to do it.
- Measuring Spoon
Blow up the balloon and tie it closed. Pour 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper onto the plate and stir it around. Rub the balloon back and forth quickly on the top of your head. Now hold the balloon close to the plate. What happens to the pepper flakes? What happens to the salt flakes?
When you rub the balloon on your hair the friction caused by the hair and the balloon rubbing against each other causes the electrons from your hair to transfer to the balloon. This gives the balloon a negative charge. When you held the balloon over the dish of pepper, the pepper stuck to the balloon because the pepper has protons and a positive charge.
The books, databases and websites on this page will help you do research and answer homework questions about static electricity.
Websites, Activities & Printables:
- Energy Kids: The Science of Electricity
- Everyday Mysteries: How Does Static Electricity Work?
- Science Kids: Static Electricity Experiment
- Exploratorium: Remote Control (Static) Racers
- Live Science: The Shocking Truth Behind Static Electricity
- Scholastic Study Jam: Electricity
- ZOOM: Snap, Crackle, Jump
Science in Context: Static Electricity is a database you can use in any IndyPL Library Branch or at home. Login using your IndyPL library card number. The Science in Context database will show you articles, images and videos to help you learn about static electricity.
You can also ask a math and science expert for homework help by calling the Ask Rose Homework Hotline. They provide FREE math and science homework help to Indiana students in grades 6-12.
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