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Exploring Forces: Static Electricity

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    NISE Network

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Exploring Forces: Static Electricity

In this activity, learners investigate what happens when you build up static electricity on plastic balls. Learners discover that electrostatic forces cause smaller balls to suspend in a tube, while larger balls fall to the bottom. This activity shows learners that size can affect the way a material behaves. This activity is a great way to talk about how different things behave at the nanoscale.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 4 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model

English, Spanish


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Nanotechnology
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


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