To aid students understand ideas related to static electricity, based upon a single example: lightning.

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This great is the first of a four-part collection on revolution electricity. These lessons space meant to assist students understand that static power is a phenomenon that requires positive and an adverse charges. An expertise of static electricity must begin with the concept that all issue is written of atoms, and also all atoms are composed of subatomic particles among which room the charged particles well-known as electrons and also protons. Protons bring a hopeful charge (+), and also electrons carry a negative charge (-). The number of electrons in one atom—ranging indigenous one increase to around 100—matches the number of charged particles, or protons, in the nucleus, and determines exactly how the atom will connect to various other atoms to form molecules. Electrically neutral particles (neutrons) in the nucleus add to the mass however do not influence the variety of electrons and so have almost no effect on the atom"s web links to various other atoms (its chemistry behavior). To additional understanding about static electricity, friend should assist your college student to make connections between their day-to-day experiences with static electricity—such together lightning, receiving shocks after shuffling throughout a carpet, taking clothes that cling come each other out of the dryer, combing their hair in the wintertime—with the static activities conducted in the classroom. Ask lock to shot to describe and also explain their everyday experiences with static in the terms they space learning: repel, attract, static charge, electron transfer. That is necessary that students understand the ide that oppositely charged objects tempt each other and like charged objects repel each other. That is less crucial that they space able to recall which materials tend come acquire negative or confident charges. when two different materials come into close contact, for example, feel rubbing against a balloon or 2 air masses in a storm cloud, electrons may be moved from one product to the other. As soon as this happens, one material ends up through an excess of electrons and becomes negative charged, while the various other ends up v a deficiency the electrons and becomes positive charged. This accumulation of imbalanced fees on objects results in the phenomena we frequently refer come as static electricity. when students an initial begin to understand atoms, they cannot confidently do the difference between atoms and also molecules. Students often get the idea the atoms somehow simply fill matter up quite than the correct idea that the atoms space the matter. Middle-school students also have trouble v the idea the atoms are in continuous motion. Coming to terms with these ideas is vital for students to make feeling of atomic theory and its explanatory power. (Benchmarks for science Literacy, p. 75.) In Static electricity 1: presenting Atoms, students are asked to review websites to learn around the atom"s straightforward structure and the confident and an adverse charges the its subparticles. This great lays the groundwork for more study of static and current electricity by concentrating on the idea of positive and negative charges at the atomic level. Because of the amount and complexity that the details related to this topic, college student will get an understanding of these ideas over time. That is necessary that they check out this object in a variety of contexts. Static electrical energy 2: presenting Static electrical power helps increase students" concepts about atoms and also how lock relate to revolution electricity. In this lesson, students do some straightforward experiments, creating static electrical energy to show how the contrary charges lure each other and like charges repel every other. Then, students explore a website that further explains these concepts. Static electrical energy 3: much more About Static electricity helps broaden students" concepts about atoms and also how lock relate to static electricity. In this lesson, students discover a website to investigate concepts related to static electricity. Then, students carry out experiments in which they develop static electricity and also demonstrate how opposite charges tempt each other and like charges repel every other. Static electricity 4: static Electricity and Lightning introduce students to concepts around lightning and how they relate to static electricity. In this lesson, students discover a selection of websites come learn about lightning and then describe in their very own words what reasons lightning and how that is concerned static electricity.


Before questioning students to check out the websites regarded lightning and static electricity, talk about with them their present knowledge of the topic.

Distribute the static Electricity and Lightning task packet. Students should complete component 1 of the packet at this time. Ask student to create down your answers making use of their very own words. Notify them that they will certainly revisit these answers later on in the lesson, after they complete their webquest. Talk about with students just how they answered the questions from part 1 of their task packet.


In this lesson, college student will usage their static Electricity and also Lightning college student esheet to walk on a webquest, trying out the adhering to websites come understand more about lightning and static electricity:

Have students job-related together in pairs or little groups so they can help each other know the facts and concepts in the web exploration.

After students complete part 2 that the task packet, lead a discussion to aid them process the ideas. Listed below are the questions from the packet with argued responses.

Static Electricity and Lightning

Explain what causes lightning. Exactly how does the principle of opposite fees attracting aid to create lightning? (Air, water droplets, and even ice crystals obstacle violently against each various other inside a thundercloud, producing two opposite kinds of electric charge: negative and positive. When the attraction between charges is so solid that they press through the air towards each other, you have lightning.)Draw a diagram to show what happens to the electron in the clouds and also on the ground throughout a lightning storm.What is a simple means to estimate how much away lightning is indigenous you? (Light travels much faster than sound. If you check out a speed of lightning, counting the secs until girlfriend hear thunder. Division the number you gain by five, and that speak you how plenty of miles far the lightning is.)

Basics of static Electricity

Describe several of the effects static electrical power has ~ above matter. Use some examples from your daily life. (Static electrical energy can cause materials to stick or cling together. Because that example, you can observe "static cling" on clothing coming indigenous the dryer. That can reason materials to repel or relocate apart. You can see her hairs repel each other after wicker on a dry day. That can develop sparks the fly indigenous one object to another. Because that example, after friend walked across a rug, you can observe a spark jump from your finger just before you touch the doorknob. Girlfriend can also see extremely large sparks as soon as you see lightning during a thunderstorm.)Describe just how an electroscope functions to detect static electricity. (When static power is present, fees go under the rod of the electroscope and also collect ~ above the foils. Since each silver paper collects the same kind of charge, they will certainly separate, or repel every other.)Why is it better not to use metals to develop static electricity? (Although that is possible for friction on metal objects to result in some static electricity, the does no really job-related well. This is since the electricity will typically conduct through the metal and also not collection on the surface as that does v a product that does not conduct electricity, such together plastic.)Describe just how Ben Franklin showed that lightning was revolution electricity. (Ben Franklin verified that lightning was static electricity by paris a dragon in a storm and also detecting static electricity by see the hairs on the kite string was standing on end and create a spark top top a metal vital attached come the kite.)How have the right to static electricity damage a computer? (If friend touch a computer system circuit board, causing a static electrical power spark, it deserve to severely damages the circuitry. The sudden surge of electrons have the right to easily destroy the microchips in the computer.)

Static electrical energy Sparks

Describe what reasons a spark. (A spark is the sudden sirloin of electrons with the waiting from one conductor to another, heating up the air till it glows white-hot. Together the variety of electrical charges near the surface of products increases, the attraction between the hopeful and an adverse charges i do not care greater. If the attraction is great enough, part electrons will certainly leave your material and fly to the other object. The electrons relocating through the air reason it to heat up. As the air gets heated, an ext and more electrons begin jumping end to the other side, bring about even more heat to construct up until it actually gets white-hot. That is the spark that you see and feel.)How is lightning various from a spark? (Lightning functions the same method as a spark, except that it happens on a massive scale. Lightning is created when water drops space churning around in a thundercloud. They gather either confident or an unfavorable electrical charges, therefore that quickly one cloud might be positive and another cloud may be negative. The electrical pressure the builds up should be incredibly high for lightning to start. Lightning can go from cloud come cloud or native the ground come a cloud.)What causes thunder? (Thunder is resulted in by the wait expanding and also contracting really rapidly.)

Uses for static Electricity

Name several useful uses of static electricity. (Uses of static electricity include pollution control, copier machines, and also painting.)Describe exactly how static electrical energy can be supplied to regulate air pollution. (Factories use static power to reduce pollution by giving the exhilaration an electric charge. As soon as it passes by one electrode of opposing charge, most of the smoke corpuscle cling come the electrode. This keeps the air pollution from walk out into the atmosphere.)


After students have actually completed the webquest, comment the questions in component 2 of the task packet, ask them to refine the meaning of revolution electricity and lightning they developed in the an ideas section.

In part 3, student should define what changes they made and why they do them. Have actually students list any evidence they found in the webquest that triggered them to change their definition.

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In addition, ask students to define how static electricity, lightning, and sparks room all connected phenomena. Then, draw a diagram depicting the negative and confident charges that occur in a lightning storm.


The complying with Internet resources have the right to be offered to further discover the topics concerned lightning and static electricity: