Electric and Magnetic Forces: Electric Charges

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of three Science Objects in the Electric and Magnetic Forces SciPack. It explores electric charges and electric force. There are two kinds of charges—positive and negative. The electric force is a universal force that exists between any two charged objects. Like charges repel one another, and opposite charges attract. The strength of the force is directly proportional to the amount of charge, and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. On an atomic scale, the nucleus and electrons are the basic constituents of all atoms and create the electric forces that hold atoms and molecules together. On a larger scale, these forces hold solid and liquid materials together and act between objects when they are in contact (for example, friction or the impact of a bat on a ball). In materials, there are almost exactly equal proportions of positive and negative charges, making the materials as a whole electrically neutral. An imbalance in these opposite charges will produce phenomena that range from electric sparks and clinging clothes to lightning.

  • Elementary
  • Middle

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Reviews (5)
  • on Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:11 AM

Easy to understand information. It can "spark" ideas for lessons at all grade levels.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:33 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Electric and Magnetic Forces: Electric Charges Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are really beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Jul 29, 2014 11:24 AM

This resource and the ones like it are particularly valuable for me for several reasons. First, I like the table of contents off to the left, which all ow me to keep track of what is coming up and see the entire lesson at once. Also, it is multisensory..enaging several senses. Finally, they are self paced, which I really need with my busy lifestyle.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:53 PM

This is a whole new experience in learning the concepts of electricity and magnetism.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:02 PM

This object gave the right amount of information perfect for anyone who needs a refresher on this topic. For me, it answered those little background questions that I would've had to look up prior to teaching the topic.

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart

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