Static Electricity

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11006

Can you make lightning strike? You may already have! That little "zap" you feel when you touch a doorknob in winter is a tiny lightning strike! Get a charge out of our hands-on experiments and videos!


Physical Science

learning style
Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Have you ever touched a door knob and felt a shock? What caused that feeling?

Have you ever taken a hat off in the winter and noticed that your hair is standing? What caused it to do that?

That shock you sometimes feel when you touch a door knob is static electricity.

Can you believe that shock you feel is the same thing that occurs when lighting strikes? Static electricity is also what causes your hair to stand when you take off a hat in the winter.

What makes static electricity, and why can you sometimes feel and see it?

Watch the TEDEd The science of static electricity - Anuradha Bhagwat video clip to find out:


Continue investigating static electricity by visiting StudyJam!'s page titled Electricity. On StudyJam!'s page, just click the green PLAY VIDEO button for right now. You will test yourself later in the lesson.

After you have watched the videos, re-read the questions from the beginning of the lesson.

Think about a time when you felt a shock when you touched a door knob or noticed your hair standing during the winter. Use one of these examples to explain to how static electricity is created. Explain your response to a teacher or parent.

Think of examples of static electricity besides the ones that have already been mentioned. Have you created static electricity today?

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