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Alpha science classroom:Measure Static Electricity With An Electroscope

Views:8     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-12-15      Origin:Site

Have the children been charged with static electricity by doorknobs or other people? It feels a bit like an electric shock. This phenomenon usually occurs in cold and dry winters. So children know how static electricity is formed and where does static electricity come from? Why sometimes get an electric shock and sometimes not? All this is related to static electricity. Today, the Alpha Science Class passed the use of electroscopes to measure static electricity. It is hoped that in this children's physical science experiment activity, the children will make a simple electroscope and test it to explore the degree of static electricity generated by the materials around the house. I believe that the results of this magical and interesting kid's science experiments will surely surprise the children!

Alpha science classroom: Materials needed for Measure Static Electricity With An Electroscope

  • Metal hanger (uncoated) or copper wire (at least gauge 14)

  • Glass jar

  • Straw

  • Scissors

  • Cardboard

  • Electrical tape

  • Hot glue gun

  • Pliers

  • Piece of Styrofoam

  • Piece of wool

  • Optional: a piece of wood, plastic bag, a tablespoon

Alpha science classroom: Measure Static Electricity With An Electroscope, step-by-step tutorial

Step 1: First, the children cut a 3-inch straw. Then trace the opening of the jar on the cardboard and cut out the resulting circle.

Step 2: children trace the opening of the jar on a piece of cardboard. Then make a hole in the center of the circle, the size of the hole is large enough for the straw to pass through.

Step 3: children are careful to use scissors to punch a hole in the center of the cardboard circle. Then insert the straw into the hole and fix it firmly with hot glue.

Step 4: A person applies hot glue around a straw, which passes through the hole in the cardboard circle.

Step 5: Cut the straight part from the metal hanger. Use pliers to twist one end of the wire into a spiral.

Step 6: Children use metal wire to form spiral-shaped pliers, insert the straight end of the wire into the straw, and make a small hook on the other end of the wire.

Step 7:  children carefully pass the metal wire through the cardboard circle, one end is a spiral, the other end is a hook.

Step 8: Cut out two drop-shaped aluminum pieces, about 1-2 inches long. On the top of them, cut a small hole.

Step 9: Two teardrop-shaped aluminum sheets with a small hole on the top, flatten the two aluminum sheets and hang them on the hooks of the wires. Make sure they touch each other.

Step 10: Put the wire with an aluminum sheet into the can, and then use electrical tape to stick the lid on the can. Now you have completed the construction of the electroscope!Homemade electroscope with tape cover.


Step 11: In order to test the children’s electroscope, generate some static electricity by rubbing the styrofoam on a piece of wool. Rub the styrofoam with wool several times.

Step 12: children hold a piece of Styrofoam and rub it on a piece of wool.

Quickly bring the charged styrofoam close to the coiled part of the metal wire on the electroscope. Be sure not to touch the wires! Observe what happens to the aluminum sheet inside the electroscope.

Step 13: Hold the foam plastic sheet close to the metal coil of the self-made electroscope, and lean the polystyrene foam against the remaining metal wire of the metal hanger. Then bring it close to the metal coil on the electroscope again.

Step 14:  children recharged by rubbing the styrofoam on the wool, this time touching the metal coil with the charged styrofoam. Then remove the Styrofoam from the coil.

Step 15:  children hold the foam plastic sheet and touch the metal coil of the self-made electroscope with the foam plastic.

Finally: Repeat steps 1-5 to test for static electricity in other materials. For each material, observe the changes in the aluminum foil inside the electroscope.

Alpha Science Classroom: Measuring static electricity with electroscopes, scientific principles

The alpha science classroom tells children that static electricity is the accumulation of electric charges on objects. This charge may discharge suddenly (for example, when a flash of lightning strikes the sky), or it may cause two objects to attract each other. Socks that have just been taken out of the dryer and glued together are a good example of this attraction. Specifically, electrostatic adsorption is the attraction between two objects with opposite charges, one positive and negative.

Static electricity can be generated by friction, such as rubbing one object against another. This is because tribal-negative charges (called electrons) are released, which can then be transferred between objects to generate static charges. Depending on whether the object loses or gains electrons due to electron transfer, the charge of the object becomes positive (the object loses electrons) or negative (the object gains electrons). For example, when you drag your feet on a carpet, electrons are transferred to you, accumulating negative static charges on your skin. When you touch a friend or certain objects, you may suddenly release static electricity as an electric shock.

Objects with opposite charges will attract each other (for example, tight-fitting, dry socks), while objects with the same charge will repel each other. This principle is used in the manufacture of electroscopes, which are scientific instruments for detecting electrical charges. The wires inside the electroscope are conductors, which means that electrons can move freely inside the material. When a charged object approaches the wire, electrostatic induction occurs. This means that the static charge of the object will affect the charge inside the metal wire, even if they are not in contact. A positively charged object attracts the electrons in the wire and then pulls them into the metal coil. As a result, the aluminum pieces at the bottom of the wires are all positively charged. Negatively charged objects repel the electrons in the metal coil, and they are pushed down the wire into the aluminum foil. This time the aluminum flakes are all negatively charged. In both cases, the two aluminum sheets carry the same charge, and they begin to repel each other. Once charged objects are moved away from the vicinity of the metal coil, the electrons move back to their positively charged counterparts. The metal became neutral again, and the aluminum pieces regrouped together.

However, if you touch a metal coil with a charged object, electrical conduction occurs, which means that electrons can flow from one object to another. For electroscopes, this means that any excess electrons from negatively charged objects will flow into the wire. This creates a negative charge inside the wire, and even if the charged objects are removed, the aluminum sheets will continue to repel each other. On the other hand, a positively charged object will remove electrons from the wire as they flow into the object to neutralize its charge. This makes the wire positively charged and the aluminum sheet will remain separated until the wire is neutralized again.

While measuring static electricity through a self-made electroscope, the children also saw the magical power of static electricity, which also allowed them to learn the knowledge of children's physical science experiment. This means that the kid's science experiment activities in the Alpha Science Classroom have been a complete success. Of course, children can also give full play to their imagination, explore the magical effect of static electricity, and become the next Newton.

Alpha Science Toys has prepared many children's physics experiment kits for children to help them understand various physical phenomena, explore and learn more physics knowledge, and become the best scientists.


Manufacturer:XinXiang Alpha Manufacturing Ltd
Address: West Of Bei Huan Road, Muye District,
 Xin xiangCity,He Nan Province,China,Post Code 453000