Static Electricity Projects For Kids

Ahhh yes!!!, the mysteries of static electricity!

What is it? Science Projects For Kids is about to help you unravel the mystery.

Have you ever slid your feet across the carpet and touched one of your friends on the nose? ZZZAAP!!! Then, for an instant he or she is no longer your friend. What just happened? This is one of the effects of static electricity.

 Static Electricity Projects For Kids

What’s Going On Here?

First you must understand that all matter is made up of atoms. All atoms are made up of charged particles called electrons and protons. Electrons carry a negative (-) charge, protons carry a positive (+) charge. Normally every object carries an equal amount of electrons and protons. Because they are equal (carry the same amount) they cancel each other out and are said to have a neutral charge. When two or more materials come into close contact (our example of your shoe soles and the carpet) electrons are transferred from one material to another. When this happens, one material (you) ends up with an excess of protons (+) and the other material (carpet) begins to have a deficiency of electrons (-). Because you have a higher number of protons than your friend, you are no longer charged equally. When you touched their nose a spark jumped between your finger and them in order to equalize the charges. VIOLA! Static electricity has just bitten their nose.  Lightning is another example of this on a much, much larger scale using two masses of air in a storm cloud. The charge builds up so great that it is released to the ground in a huge flash of light.

Try It For Yourself

Now that you have the basic principles there’s no better way to learn than hands on. Try running a nylon comb through your hair a few times. Can you explain what’s happening? Did you try sliding your shoes across the floor and touching your friend’s (or mom’s) nose as discussed earlier? Static generators are an awesome way to make your own lightning and literally make your hair stand on end and amaze your friends! And here’s something you don’t see everyday, check out these cool flash rocks.

Hands-On Static Electricity Projects

Here are some terrific must-do projects that you can do using common materials from around the house. Try creating your own electricity and light up a fluorescent bulb , make your own lightning , or even build a simple device to detect static electricity! Books are also a great resource for static electricity ideas on experiments, projects and science fair projects. I’ve found some helpful books to get you started by doing some of Thomas Edison’s and Benjamin Franklin’s original experiments.