Static Electricity Science Project For Kids: Bending Water
Kids can learn to love science if they are given the opportunity to learn about it within the context of the word around them. Whether home on a break or just bored on the weekend, there are plenty of easy-to-do science projects kids can do at home. Fun science experiments can spur an interest in children who may or may not already be excited about science. This project demonstrates the properties of static electricity.
What you need:
- hard rubber or plastic comb, or a balloon
- sink and water faucet
- hair or wool sweater
Step 1: Turn on the faucet so that the water runs out in a small, steady stream, about 1/8 inch thick.
Step 2: Wash the comb with warm soapy water to remove any oils. Dry well.
Step 3: Charge the comb with electricity by running it through dry hair several times. If you don’t want to use hair, you can rub the comb on a wool sweater instead.
Step 4: Moving slowly, move the comb near the water. As the comb gets closer, the water will ‘bend’ in relation to the comb.
You can also use a balloon instead of a comb for this project.
Why Did This Happen?
When you comb your hair or rub the comb (or balloon) against the wool sweater, electrons move from your hair or the sweater to the comb. The comb then has a negative static charge. Because the water is neutral, it is attracted to the negative charge of the comb like a magnet. When they touch, electrons start moving from the comb to the water. Once both objects have the same negative charge, the water is no longer attracted to the comb.
Tips for Success:
This project works best when you use the part of the charged object (comb or balloon) that has the biggest charge. This will be the part that was rubbed against the hair or sweater.
The swinging cereal project works best on dry days.
Other Science Projects
Fingerprint Project - Learning about fingerprints and taking them is a fun experiment that also gives instant results. This project appeals to a wide variety of ages too. For little kids, you can emphasize playing with the ink, and for older kids you can put a ‘Junior CSI' spin on the experiment.
Swinging Cereal Static Electricity Project – Use ordinary cereal and a comb to demonstrate the properties of static electricity.
Light a Light Bulb With a Balloon – This project uses simple static electricity to create sparks inisde a light bulb. Adult supervision is advised.
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