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Activity

Bending Water with Static Electricity

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Instructions

Ready to get started with this activity? To keep track of your progress, check off the instructions for each step below as they are completed. Make sure to check the box of the last step when you’re done to receive congratulations for your completed activity!

Consider this:

When you run the comb through your hair, invisible electrons (with a negative charge) build up on the surface of the comb. This is called static electricity, which means “non-moving electricity.” The electrons have the power to pull very light objects with a positive charge toward them. Let’s do an experiment!

  • Dry plastic comb
  • Indoor faucet
  • Clean dry hair on your head
  • Turn on the faucet and slowly turn down the water until you have a very thin stream of water flowing.
  • Take a plastic comb and brush it through your hair ten times.
  • Slowly bring the comb close to the flowing water but do not touch the water!
  • As you move closer, the water should bend toward the comb.
  • Does the size of the comb affect the static ability to bend water?
  • Does the material that the comb is made of affect the static power?
  • Does the number of times you comb your hair change the angle of the bent water?

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