A Hair-raising Qu...
This Video Will S...
Ben and The Elect...
Mad Scientist Lea...
Science of Static...
The Ghost of Ben ...
A SHOCKING day
The Electric Fire
ProjectEd - Stati...
How static electr...
Ever feel a shock when you touch a doorknob or take off a sweater? That’s static electricity! But what is it? Where does it come from? How can I get some? And what does Ben Franklin have to do with it?
Static electricity is a form of electricity that occurs when a difference in charge builds up between the surfaces of objects. Static electricity remains in the object until it is able to move, or discharge, by contact with another object.
We all make static electricity all the time. When you rub a balloon on your hair, the balloon becomes negatively charged because it picks up some electrons from your hair, leaving your hair positively charged. Then, when you then move the balloon near your hair or other positively charged objects, they move toward each other. Opposites attract! Try the same thing with a balloon and some salt and pepper on the table or small pieces of shredded paper. What happens?
Static electricity can also be shocking! To feel (and sometimes see) a static charge, rub your feet on a carpet and then touch an unsuspecting friend or something metal. When you rub your feet on carpet that’s insulated from the ground, you pick up a negative charge and carry it on the surface of your skin. When you then touch a friend who is on the same carpet, or touch a doorknob... ZAP! That negative charge built up on your skin was quickly neutralized with a transfer of charge between you and your friend or the doorknob.
Pro Tip: This is way easier to do in dry weather because there is less moisture in the air. Moisture in the air, which is actually more water particles in the air, will actually draw out or neutralize a charge before you can transfer it via touch!
Benjamin Franklin was the first person to figure out how static electricity works. To uncover this, he performed some experiments that actually were very similar to the balloon and carpet experiments above. In his experiments, he used wax, glass tubes, and, of course, people. He had his subjects stand on wax, rub glass tubes, and touch each other, and he observed and recorded the sparks that flew. His famous conclusion was that "Electrical fire was not created by friction, but collected, being an element diffused among, and attracted by, other matter."
While Franklin called the sparks he saw “electric fire,” his notion that electricity was actually collected, not created, was an important step forward in our understanding.
In this contest, we need your filmmaking and special effects skills to explain what’s happening when we experience static electricity, and how important Ben Franklin’s breakthroughs were in understanding it. In a video that is no longer than 90 seconds you must:
In a video, no longer than 90 seconds, you must:
Videos will be evaluated based on the following criteria, weighed equally:
In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken on the basis of the tied entrants’ scores in the “Educational merit and accuracy” criteria.
Prizes per contest vary. In most cases, a grand prize will be awarded to one video in the ‘Youth’ category and one in the ‘Adult’ category. All entries are categorized by age of the submitter. Submitters under the age of 18 are placed into the ‘Youth’ category and submitters 18 years or older are placed in the ‘Adult’ category. All prizes with the exception of the 'Viewer's Choice' award are chose by a panel of judges. In the case of winners under the age of 18, prizes will be awarded to a legal parent or guardian. Rules for each contest explain how and when we will notify you and the date the prizes will be announced. Prizes are awarded at Amplify’s discretion and are subject to the applicable district and school policies. Prizes for teachers may be awarded via DonorChoose.org.
In this contest we will be offering one adult grand prize, one youth grand prize, three finalist prizes, one honorable mention prizes, and one viewers choice prizes. All prizes amounts are in USD where applicable.
From the Library of Congress:
From Science Made Simple:
From Bill Nye the Science Guy:
From Stuff to Blow Your Kid’s Mind: