Friday, February 18, 2011

Family Science Night - Static Electricity

Tonight we will be learning about static electricity. The first part of our evening consists of combing your hair. It is important to look good for your experiment, but it is also an essential part of the experiment. To start, you will want to turn on the water in a steady stream. Now use a plastic comb and run it through your hair 10-12 times. Now move the comb down near the water but not touching the water. You will see the water bending towards your comb. I could not get a picture of it but we were impressed. In fact, we were so impressed that my son combed his hair over adn over again. Double victory! When you use the comb on your hair that makes the comb "charged" and the water is uncharged. This proves the point, opposites really do attract.

We have all done the trick with the balloon where you rub it against your hair and it makes your hair stand on end. The other one is to rub the balloon against your hair and then put the balloon against your clothes and it will stick. This time we are going to do an activity where balloons refuse to touch.

You will need two balloons, yarn, tape and a wool scarf or sweater. Blow up the balloons and tie them off. Now cut two equal pieces of yarn and tape them to the top of a doorway. You will want the pieces of yarn about 1-2 inches apart. Tie the balloons to the bottom of the yarn. The balloons should now be resting side by side. Rub the sweater against one balloon to get it charged and then immediately rub the sweater against the other balloon. What happened to the two balloons right after you rubbed the first balloon? What happened to the two balloons after both had been rubbed with the sweater? What happens when you try to push the balloons together? What happens when you put your hand between the two balloons?

Our next experiment will turn you into a Snake Charmer with no danger of being bitten. You need a sheet of tissue paper, a plate, felt tip pen, scissors, plastic ruler and wool scarf or sweater. Lay the plate on the piece of tissue paper and trace around it. Now you will draw a spiral (snake shape) within the circle. To clarify that it is a snake, you can draw a zig zag shape on the snake and a set of eyes. Now following your drawn spiral, use the scissors to cut the snake out. Leave the snake lying on the table/floor in the spiral shape. Rub the scarf vigorously against the edge of the plastic ruler for about a minute or so. Touch the snake's head with your charged ruler and slowly lift the ruler. The snake will begin to come up also.

Have a great time at Family Science Night and leave a comment with any other experiments you tried.

No comments:

Post a Comment