Science doesn't have to be
complicated, expensive or use specialized laboratory equipment.
There are great science projects that can be performed using common
Whether you are a parent or a student trying
to find an idea for a science project, a teacher looking for ideas
for the classroom, or a science enthusiast who enjoys the delight of
experimentation, you'll find what you're looking for in this book.
Everything around you is made of atoms and combinations of these atoms. In the
middle of each atom is a nucleus. The nucleus contains two kinds of tiny particles,
called protons and neutrons. Orbiting around the nucleus are even smaller particles
The protons and neutrons in the nucleus of an atom are held together very tightly. Normally, the nucleus does not change. But some of the outer electrons in an atom are held very loosely and can move from one atom to another.
Static Electricity is created when electrons move from the atoms of
item to another (like hair and a comb).
Some types of atoms hold their electrons very tightly. Materials
made from these atoms are called insulators like cloth, plastic, glass and dry air. Other
atoms have a weak bond with their electrons. Materials made
from these atoms are conductors, like metal.
Two items with opposite, or different charges (one positive and
one negative) will attract, or pull towards each other. Things with the same charge (two positives or two negatives) will repel, or push away from each other.
A charged object will also attract something that is neutral. If it is a conductor, many electrons move easily
through it towards a positive charge. If it is an insulator, the electrons in the atoms and molecules can only move very slightly to one
side. In either case, there are more positive charges closer to the negative
object. Opposites attract.
So what does all this have to do with static electric shocks? Think about taking a wool hat off your head.
As it rubs your
hair, electrons move from your hair to the hat. Each
hair has lost electrons creating a positive
charge. Items with the same charge try to move
away from each other. In this case, the hairs all
try to stand up and move as far apart as possible.
Websites with information on the
1. Bending Water (tap with running water, and comb)
Create static electricity on a plastic comb by combing your hair or you can rub a plastic rod with some wool. Turn on the faucet so that the water runs slowly but smoothly without breaking up.
Bring the comb near to the running stream of water without touching it. Watch what happens..
2. Experiment with balloons (balloon, felt, timer, water source)
Blow up the balloon. Rub one side with the felt or your sweater to create static electricity. Place the balloon against the wall. What happens? Time how long it lasts.
Try it again after someone has had a shower, or you spray water on the wall. What’s different?
The Everything Kids' Science Experiments
Book: Boil Ice, Float Water, Measure Gravity-Challenge the World Around You
Science has never been so easy -
all you need to do is gather a few household items and you can recreate dozens of mind-blowing, kid-tested science experiments.
1. What are subatomic particles? Can you name some?
Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, and other
small pieces of matter that only exist for a fraction of a second
when an atom is split.
2. What is an ion?
An atom that has a positive electrical charge due to the loss of one or more
Note to Parents:
Creative Kids at Home has checked every
weblink on this page. We believe these links provide
interesting information that is appropriate for kids. However,
the internet is a constantly changing place. You are
responsible for supervising your own children. If you ever
find a link that you feel is inappropriate, please let us know.