Author: Joyce Brumberger
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As a result of the presenter-conducted module, participants will learn through design and implementation of their own experiments about static electricity and its relationship with various materials. Participants will design a lesson they can implement in their own classroom.
Suggested list of materials below. Refer to the Triboelectric series chart to insure proper variety of materials. Collect objects made of:
Assessment: Assessment is ongoing as participants orally present their observations and reasoning.
Assessment: Assessment is ongoing as participants orally present their observations and reasoning
Answers will vary, but many will say that the material becomes charged. All matter is made up of atoms. Inside the nucleus of the atom are protons and neutrons. The nucleus is very difficult to break apart. Electrons are negatively charged particles that orbit around the nucleus and can easily move from atom to atom. When two things are rubbed together, one of the materials becomes negatively charged because it attracts the electrons and gathers them up. The other material becomes positively charged because its electrons are pulled off of it.
Answers will vary depending on the materials you use.Refer to the triboelectric series chart to determine which materials had the greater tendency to gain or lose electrons. Refer to this web site for the chart: http://www.school-for-champions.com/science/static_materials.htm
Answer will vary depending on the materials used. Lubricating materials such as oils, lotions, and water will tend to reduce static electricity. During the winter months, static electricity is more pronounced in northern climates due to the dry air inside a building as well as outside. In tropical climates, walking across a carpeted room and touching a door handle usually does not produce the transfer of static electricity in the summer or winter due to higher humidity. Warm air is capable of holding more moisture than cold air.
Assessment: Participants? responses to key concepts and their responses to additional examples.
Static electricity can be useful, but in everyday living it usually is something to avoid.
It is important to teach the science of everyday phenomena with correct information and dispel misconceptions that are based on false facts, myths and/or fueled emotion. With correct information, individuals can make better decisions and develop workable solutions to problems.
Many students in grades 5-8 are still concrete learners and the study of static electricity, like many other topics in science, is more conceptual. Students will likely have prior knowledge regarding the effects of static electricity, but ill-conceived notions of what it actually is. Therefore, when teachers have a clear understanding of the science they are better able to nurture their students understanding, as well as foster their conceptual thinking abilities.
NSES Standard A: Science as Inquiry: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
NSES Standard B: Physical Science: As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of transfer of energy.
NSES Standard G: History and Nature of Science: As a result of activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop understanding of Science as a human endeavor
NSES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARD A: Professional development for teachers of science requires learning essential science content through the perspectives and methods of inquiry. Science learning experiences for teachers must:
NSES PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARD B: Professional development for teachers of science requires integrating knowledge of science, learning, pedagogy, and students; it also requires applying that knowledge to science teaching. Learning experiences for teachers of science must:
Two 40 minute sessions
Collect materials to create a sufficient number of sets for all the groups. Place materials in bins or baskets for each group to obtain and return materials. Lotions, creams, oils can be distributed in labeled film canisters or other small plastic containers. Provide paper towels for each group.
Paper towels with lotions and oils can safely be disposed of in the trash. Goggles should be worn to protect eyes if balloons should break.
Assessments are ongoing throughout the learning cycle.
Teachers convert a teacher directed science activity into an inquiry-based lesson plan for their students.
All matter is made up of small particles called atoms. Atoms are the smallest units of an element that still contain the properties of the element. But atoms themselves are made up of many smaller particles. Three subatomic particles to be identified here are the protons and neutrons, located in the nucleus of the atom, and the electron, which whizzes all around the outside of the nucleus.
Protons carry a positive charge, electrons carry a negative charge, and neutrons have no charge. They are neutral. The protons and neutrons remain in the nucleus. The forces holding them there are so strong that it would take a nuclear reaction to alter them in anyway. The electrons however are outside the nucleus and can transfer from one atom to another. Some elements tend to lose electrons easily while others tend to gain electrons easily.
All atoms are neutral because they have an equal number of protons (positive charges) and electrons (negative charges). Therefore, when an atom loses electrons (gives away negative charges) it becomes positive. When an atom gains electrons (collects more negative charges) it becomes negative. When two objects are rubbed together, one object will lose electrons and the other one will gain electrons. The build up of electrons will remain until there is an opportunity for them to transfer from the built up stockpile to another location. While they are in the stockpile, they are considered static (not moving by transfer). Electricity is not completely understood, but at the simplest level electricity results from a flow of electron. Static electricity then is a stockpile of electrons that is unnoticed until it flows to another object.
The Triboelectric series chart identifies materials that tend to gain or lose electrons and those that tend to remain neutral. Moisture tends to reduce the flow of static electricity.
None available for this module.
Provide the opportunity for participants to experience static electricity using a Van de Graaf generator. They are often available in middle school and high school science labs.
Research the problems of static electricity in various manufacturing industries and the methods used to decrease its occurrence.
Research why static electricity is important to the function of photocopiers and other important uses.
Research the work of Benjamin Franklin and his counterparts in Europe in their experiments with lightning.
Research weather and lightning.
Explore the conditions involving the various types of lightning such as ball lightning, sprites, blue jets, elves, rocket lightning, and many others.
Try to insure that all participants have participated and expressed their ideas either verbally or through written comments. When working in pairs or groups try to make the groups as heterogeneous as possible being sensitive to specific needs of individuals.
N/A for this module.