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TEA ANYONE?

Make static electricity using a Van de Graaff generator

Suitable For

Grade 3

Difficulty

1

Time Required

 <2 Days

Supervision

Advised

What’s it about?

A ‘Van de Graaff’ generator is an electrostatic generator often found in school science classrooms. With this device, a high voltage electrical charge can be built up in its dome. Repel the strings from two teabags charged with a ‘Van de Graaff’ generator in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Static electricity

What will I need?

  • VAN DE GRAAFF GENERATOR
  • STICKY TAPE
  • TWO TEA BAGS WITH STRINGS

Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

Inside a ‘Van de Graaff’ generator, a belt driven by a motor moves at a high speed, while a grounding wire drains negative charges off the belt at the bottom of the device. This leaves a high positive charge on the top dome. The rule for static electricity is that different (opposite) charges attracts, while the same (equal) charges repel one another. In this science experiment the teabag strings stand upright and lean away from each other because they are both charged positive from being in contact with the top dome of the generator.

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