Electrifying Attraction

Conduct hair-raising experiments with the Van de Graaff generator. Learn how electrically charged objects produce motion. Build circuits and investigate renewable energy sources

Major Concepts To Be Explored:

  • What is electricity?
  • What is a circuit?
  • How can a circuit convert electrical current into light, heat, and sound?
  • What are renewable energy sources?
  • What are magnets?
  • What is the law of magnetism?

Essential Standards:

4.P.1.1; 4.P.1.2; 4.P.3.1

Goals of the Program:

  • To differentiate between static and current electricity.
  • To introduce students to electrical circuits and the materials used to build them.
  • To explore several types of magnets and the attraction and repulsion of various materials to the magnets.
  • To explore how renewable sources of energy can be used to generate electricity.
  • To analyze energy transfer through a system.

Class Objectives:

Students will be able to:

  • Build a circuit and name the components necessary to make a working circuit.
  • Understand the difference between parallel and series circuits.
  • Recognize materials that act as conductors or insulators.
  • Identify materials that are magnetic.

Methods and Activities:

  • A brief introduction, including a demonstration with a Van de Graaff generator, will introduce the students to electricity, circuits, and magnets.
  • Students will build circuits, test conductors and insulators, and experiment with magnetic materials.
  • Students will explore how generators create an electrical current.

Key Vocabulary:

Static Electricity, Current Electricity, Electron, Parallel Circuit, Series Circuit, Conductor, Insulator, Magnetism, Attract, Repel

Set-up Needs:

  • Preference is inside location with 6 tables to be used as hands-on activity stations.
  • Teaching/presentation space must be accessible via wheeled cart.
  • Access to electricity.
  • Approximate set-up and clean-up time – 30 minutes before and after program.
  • Program will need to remain set up and secured from students for the entire day if multiple programs are booked.
  • Secure storage location for materials if left overnight.

Call to Book

704.372.6261 x300
  • Grades 3 - 8
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • $150 first class / $125 each additional class (same class, same day)
  • Maximum 25 students