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Charge and Charge Models

Experiment #17 from Physics Explorations and Projects

Education Level
High School


The goal of this activity is for students to experiment with static electricity and develop a model that describes charge transfer. In the Preliminary Observation, students observe a basic demonstration of an electrostatically charged balloon.

Students also perform a series of static electricity activities with sticky tape. They use observations and measurements (using the Charge Sensor and Electrostatics Kit) in order to develop a charge model that explains the phenomena they observe.

During the discussion of results, the PhET simulation “Balloons and Static Electricity” may prove helpful in reconciling student observations with the model.


  • Draw a conclusion and formulate a model based on data and observations from the investigation.
  • Clearly explain how the model explains the phenomena observed.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #17 of Physics Explorations and Projects. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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