Homeschool Science

Ben Franklin – Easy Electricity Science Experiment

This experiment demonstrates static electricity in action. Electricity was discovered by Benjamin Franklin. His birthday is January 17th. What a great way to celebrate his birthday learning about this very important discovery by doing an easy electricity science experiment!
benjamin franklin and electricity science experiment 3

Rate the activity:

Easy

disclaimerSupplies needed:

  • Plastic Spoon
  • One Teaspoon Salt
  • One Teaspoon Pepper
  • Wool product
  • Measuring spoons
  • Paper Plate

Directions:

1. Measure one teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of pepper and mix on a paper plate.
2. Rub the plastic spoon VIGOROUSLY across the product.
3. Wave the spoon about an inch or so above the mixture of salt and pepper on the paper plate.

Ben Franklin Science Experiment

Explanation:

Every item has atoms. These atoms have electrons, which are negatively charged, orbiting their nucleus. When items come in contact with each other, they can transfer electrons. In this case, the item losing the electrons – the wool product – becomes positively charged. While the spoon, which gains the negative electrons, becomes negatively charged. The salt and pepper are positively charged. As you wave the negatively-charged spoon slowly over the positive-charged mixture, the mixture will be attracted to the spoon. However, the pepper is lighter than the salt, in weight, so it will be the only part of the mixture that ends up on the spoon.

Benjamin Franklin Electricity Experiment Easy

What my boys thought:

“It was fun and simple to help me understand static electricity in action.”

Books that go along with this science experiment:

Explore Electricity – 25 Great Projects

Ben Franklin’s Fame

Benjamin Franklin, American Genius: His Life and Ideas with 21 Activities (For Kids series)

 This activity was inspired by:

Ben Franklin Birthday Science Experiment

 

 

About the author

Trish

Trish is one of the owners of Hip Homeschool Moms. She has been married to her best friend, David, for 20 years and they have three sons (ages 19, 17 and 15). Trish is from the coast of North Carolina, but they now live in rural West Tennessee on a 40+ acre farm. She has been homeschooling since 2009 and her homeschool style leans towards a Montessori approach with a heavy emphasis on hands-on learning. They also own a small business that Trish runs from home. Trish’s family is Messianic and they love studying the Scriptures, learning Hebrew and growing in their faith and walk daily. In her spare time, Trish loves to write, work in their garden and can regularly be found trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!

1 Comment

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  • You can use the same spoon (clean and rubbed vigorously across the wool) to bend water! Allow your kitchen tap to run a small stream of water. Bring the spoon slowly close to the stream without touching it. The water should be attracted to the spoon. The reason is because water has polarity (slight positive side and slight negative side) and it is attracted by the same principle of the pepper particles…static electricity! 🙂

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