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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 4 Objective 1
1 class periods of 45 minutes each
Students work in cooperative groups and learn about static electricity through two experiments.
For Each Group of 4 Students:
Static electricity exists when an object has lost or gained electrons. All matter is made of atoms. The nucleus of an atom contains protons, having a positive charge, and neutrons having no charge. Electrons, which have a negative charge, spin around the nucleus. Usually the protons and electrons are in balance; however, when an object loses some of its electrons, it is positively charged, and an object with extra electrons is negatively charged. Both objects now have static electricity. The electricity is at rest; it does not flow through the object as in current electricity.
Examples of static electricity can be found in our environment. In cold, dry areas, static electricity is more evident. If the area is humid, it is more difficult to observe or create static electricity. Some examples of static electricity are walking across a carpet and touching a doorknob, brushing hair so that it crackles or follows the brush, rubbing a hard rubber rod with fur, rubbing a glass rod with silk, rubbing a balloon on clothing, or static cling created by clothes tumbling in a dryer.
There is a science misconception that lightning is an example of static electricity. This is not true. Particles in clouds rub together and create static electricity in the clouds. Particles build up both positive and negative charges. When the charges jump to the ground or to another cloud, the energy is neutralized. The flash of lightning seen is an example of current electricity.
Assess group record sheets in terms of the following questions.
Original lesson plan by Stevane Godina.