Static Electricity Simulation


Hello, I am Jared, welcome to Fun Science
Demos. Today we are going to be taking a look at
a really neat simulation that Carl Wieman and his team at PhET put together and created. PhET is a great
website for science and math education and we have linked right into the simulation in our video
description. The big idea today is static electricity. But we want to see the simulation closer,
so we are going to zoom in. Now this is what the site is going to
look like when you first open it. Through science we have discovered that all
matter is made of positive and negative charges, and that is what those little pluses and minuses are. I find that
it overwhelms students to see all the pluses and minuses right to begin with
so we want to put it into a scene that they really can relate
to and see, so I want to remove this wall over here.
So I am going to click the button that says Remove wall and it goes away. And I want to remove
the charges just to begin with so the students are not overwhelmed so there is a button down
here that says Show no charges. I click that and boom, now I have
something that really a lot of students have seen before: a balloon and a sweater.
The site is great because it allows me to move things around and ask questions about what is happening.
So I can rub this balloon on the sweater, I can pull it away and let go, why did
the balloon do that? Well, to understand why the balloon did that I
have to see the charges; the positive-negative charges. So I just
need to hit this button, Show all charges. Boom, the charges pop open and it looks different
from when we began. So let us reset this whole thing. And now I
can see positive-negative charges on the sweater,
positive-negative charges on the balloon. Through science we have discovered that some
types of matter lose those negative charges easily. So watch what happens to the
negative charges on our sweater as I rub the balloon over it. Wow, the
balloon is picking up those negative charges off of the sweater. So watch what happens
when I pull it away- all those negative charges are attracted to all those positive charges left on the
sweater. Opposite charges attract, I can see it. So I brought it back to how
it looks like when you first open the site. You can see we can add a wall, there is
all kinds of other buttons you can press. We can add a second balloon. There is so
much for you to explore, all you have to do is click on the link in our video description
and check it out. Simulations are a powerful tool to get kids to ask questions and test to
see if they can answer those questions even if you do not have the materials to
bring into your classroom. The nice thing about this simulation is that it will work
on any device. Science is so cool. Click on it, play around with it. Ask
questions, see if you can find the answers. Thanks
for watching.

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