The premier destination for fun science projects & experiments for kids grades K-8 since 2010!


Make static electricity using a Van de Graaff generator

Suitable For

Grade 3



Time Required

 <2 Days



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?


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.

Like the sound of it?

Why not check out the full worksheet in one of our popular e-books?

This particular science project can be found in any of the following Experiland e-books:

Experiland e-books contain detailed steps, including illustrations, to complete the science projects from start to finish.

Science project ebooks for kids

Experiland's science e-books contain a diverse range of several hundred of exciting science projects, ideas and experiments.

A project introduction and background, complete listing of required materials, step-by-step instructions on how to carry out the project, why it works, learn more section, as well as a science glossary with all the relevant terms make up each of the all-inclusive science project worksheets in our e-books!

Get your e-Book!