- Does everyone experience static electricity?
- Can static shocks be prevented?
- What causes static electricity?
- Which method of preventing shocks works best?
- Do clothing, shoes, or dry air play a part in the static effect, or perhaps a combination of all three?
This project is best undertaken during the fall/winter months.
- Hand cream
- Dryer sheets
- Anti-static spray (such as Static Gaurd)
- A small handful of change
- Polyester shirt
- Leather-style shoes
- Ask for four volunteers the day before your experiment.
- Ask the first volunteer to wear a sweatshirt and a pair of sneakers.
- Ask the second volunteer to wear a polyester shirt and take off his/her shoes.
- Ask the third volunteer to wear a sweater and leather-style shoes.
- Ask the fourth volunteer to wear a t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops.
- One at a time, ask each volunteer to scuff his/her feet across a bare floor and then touch something metal, like a doorknob, or to touch another person. Record what happens.
- Now, ask each volunteer to scuff his/her feet across a carpeted floor and then touch something metal, like a doorknob, or to touch another person. Record what happens.
- Now ask the volunteer wearing the sneakers and a sweatshirt to place a dryer sheet into each shoe.
- Ask the volunteer wearing the polyester shirt and socks to apply hand cream to his/her hands.
- Ask the third volunteer wearing the sweater and the leather-style shoes to apply static guard to him/herself. (Be cautious: do not spray this near face or eyes).
- Ask the fourth volunteer wearing the t-shirt and flip-flops to put a handful of change into his/her pocket.
- Ask the first three volunteers one at a time to repeat steps 6 and 7.
- Ask the fourth volunteer to repeat steps 6 and 7, but ask them to put their hand into their pocket and touch the change just before touching the metal surface or another person.
- Record all observations, answering the Research Questions.
Terms/Concepts: Static, Metal, Humidity, Moisture, Dry Air, Conductive, Non-Conductive, Positive charge, Negative Charge, Atoms
"How can I stop getting static shocks?" McGill University https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/environment-general-science/how-can-i-stop-getting-static-shocks
"Static Electricity; Static elimination and control," Science Made Simple, http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/eliminatestaticelectricity.html.
School for Champions, by Ron Kurtus, http://school-for-champions.com/science/static_materials.htm.
Materials That Cause Static Electricity, http://jh399.k12.sd.us/DailyAssign/Physics/ch7materialstaticelec.pdf.