In this science experiment we will explore the properties of static electricity. We will build an
electroscope to detect static electrical charges. Lets do the Static Electricity Attraction Experiment!
- Plastic drinking straw
- Plastic pen
- A helper
Process Static Electricity Attraction Experiment
1. Tie one end of a piece of thread around the middle of a straw.
2. Ask a helper to hold the free end of the thread so that the straw is suspended.
3. Rub the side of a pen on a rug until it feels warm (you are building up a charge).
4. Make sure the straw is still and then bring the charged pen close to the ends of the straw.
5. What happens?
The Science Behind The Static Electricity Attraction Experiment
You made an electroscope! Electroscopes can detect charges like static electricity. Static
electricity stays in an object (which is why it's called "static") until it is discharged onto another
object. Rubbing your feet on a carpet builds up static electricity and touching a doorknob (or
person!) discharges it. Rubbing your pen on a rug charges up the pen's plastic with static
electricity. Charges can be positive or negative, and the charges on glass and plastic tend to be
negative. Opposites attract and likes repel so the ends of the electroscope will spin toward or
away from a charged object depending on whether it has a negative or positive charge. Now grab
some friends and do the Static Electricity Attraction Experiment.
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