Third grade scientists continued on their quest to understand electricity! We began with a simpler form of electricity - static electricity! Children rotated from station to station - investigating, exploring and wondering.
In Station 1: Popping Paper, scientists put a plastic container over small paper circles. They rubbed the plastic container with their hand and with wool cloth. Ask your third grader what happened! Be sure to ask them why.
In Station 2: Jumping Peanuts, scientists rubbed a plastic card with wool cloth. Once they built up enough friction, they held the card next to styrofoam peanuts. Ask your third grader what happened! Be sure to ask them why.
In Station 3: Attractive Comb, scientists rubbed a plastic comb with two different types of cloth. Once they built up enough friction, they held the comb near small paper circles. Ask your third grader what happened! Be sure to ask them why.
In Station 4: Static Tube Pick-Up, scientists rubbed a "static tube" with wool cloth or their bare hand. (The static tube is a clear plastic tube with small pieces of styrofoam inside.) Once they built up enough friction, they held the static tube up to styrofoam pieces, small pieces of yarn and aluminum strips. Ask your third grader what happened! Be sure to ask them why.
In Station 5: Dancing Styrofoam, scientists rubbed a "static tube" with cloth or their bare hand. Ask your third grader what happened to the styrofoam inside the tube! Be sure to ask them why.
Third grade scientists were encouraged to ask questions and create theories as they explored. Members of each group were encouraged to share information with one another.
Third grade scientists also learned about atoms. (Did you know that atoms are related to static electricity?) Atoms are incredibly small. In fact, the period at the end of this sentence is made up of billions of atoms.
Above you can see the model of an atom. Challenge your third grade scientist with these questions about it:
*What is the center of an atom is called? (The nucleus)
*What is inside the nucleus? (Protons and neutrons)
*What is moving around the outside of the nucleus. (Electrons)
*Describe the charge of electrons and protons. (Electrons have a negative charge. Protons have a positive charge.)
Ask your third grader to explain what the electrons in an atom have to do with static electricity! Hint: Electrons can move from atom to atom. This affects the charge of the atom. Opposite charges attract!
Mrs. Sullivan wants you to feel informed! Check out this blog to learn about what's happening in Room 221. Feel free to leave a comment. Let us know what you think or ask a question.