Hello and Happy Thanksgiving! The next unit I am teaching in science in static electricity and magnetism. Do any of you have any interesting websites in mind that can help me teach this? Our science book, "Real Science", is too difficult for the kids to understand and I want as much hands-on activities as possible to help reinforce the ideas. Thanks!
Last edited by iteachm123; 11-23-2008 at 08:06 AM.
Reason: misspelled word!
The site I use so often for science is sciencespot.net. It has everything on it. For static electricity we do a lot with balloons, (rubbing on walls then sticking to the walks, putting Rice Krispies in the balloon, rubbing on sweaters, then touching balloon - the cereal will dance). I use lightning as my example for teaching. If you have access to a Van de Graff generator they are a lot of fun. (That the generator that you touch and your hair goes crazy.) We don't do a lot with magnetism, that's 3rd grade here, but I've done magnet races, etc. I have 2 really strong magnets, I'll lay them on the overhead, then push one toward the other, depending on which end is next to which they will either push away or pull together. We do use magnets for seperating mixtures and classifying matter.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
I just did a lesson today on static electricity. The only materials you need are balloons, unflavored gelatin powder, large pieces of dark construction paper, and pieces of felt or wool. There are 3 steps to the experiment. After handing out all the materials, you have one student in each group open their gelatin packet and pour it into the middle of the paper. Next (without rubbing it on anything) hold the balloon above the gelatin and take note of observations using both words and pictures to explain what they observed. (nothing should happen. The gelatin should not be attacted to the balloon because they should both have a balanced charge.) Next, rub the balloon on the piece of felt for 30 seconds and repeat the experiment. Students should see the gelatin being attracted to the balloon. The final step is to wipe the gelatin off the balloon and back onto the paper. Then the students rub their hands all over the balloon (to hopefully rebalance the charge) and repeat the experiment. They should notice that little to no gelatin is attracted to the balloon this time. Then we discuss the cause and effects. They loooove it.
I like to take a little electric motor and chuck the axle into my electric drill, the wire up a light bulb to the electrodes. When the drill spins the motor fast enough, the motor becomes a generator and electricity is produced. Shows the relationship between magnetism and electricity.
It's Christmas light season- take one of your dead strings of lights and cut the wires between all the lights, and strip the ends of the wires. With a bunch of C batteries you got cheap materials for lots of experiments!