Charging into Electrostatics

Static Electricity Made Simple!
The sixth seminar Charging into Electrostatics, was held on Tuesday, January 30, 2007, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenters were Dr. Cathy Ezrailson, Science Education Research Scientist at Texas A&M University and Jan Mader, Physics Teaching Resource Agent Director.

Participants use stamps to respond to one of the presenters' questions. Eighty-eight (88) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

In this seminar, Dr. Cathy Ezrailson and Jan Mader discussed the nature of electrostatic forces created as a result of a difference in charge between objects. They also demonstrated how to make a simple electroscope, an electrophorus, and a homemade Leyden jar. All participants received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide on Severe Weather, grades 9-12.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • "The seminar presented a number of inexpensive, teacher-friendly techniques for demonstrating the principles of electrostatic charges. I liked the diagrams, quizzes, and web tour of"
  • "The content fits some of the objectives I need to teach and will be helpful in planning a family science night since these should be interesting and fun for the families."
  • "The content was great. I learned quite a lot. The content seemed very relevant to me since I'll be teaching early elementary. I think the kids would love the demos."
  • "I think this was a great seminar, I would like to be able to sit down and go over the power points again. Great ideas to be used in the classroom!"

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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