Lesson 02 – Current and Static Electricity

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Read About Current and Static Electricity


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

A circuit is a closed path that allows electricity to flow from one point to another.

A charge is a quantity of electricity that is related to the balance of electrons and protons in an object; too many negative electrons result in the shock, or jolt, in static electricity.

Current electricity is the flow of electrons from one section of a circuit to another.

A load is a device, such as a light bulb, that receives electricity from a circuit or power source.

A power plant is a group of buildings, equipment, and machinery that are used to generate electricity from another source of energy such as a hydroelectric dam.

A shock is a sudden jolt or release of electricity seen or felt when electrons jump from one object to another.

Static electricity is a state in which many electrons build up on an object, giving it a negative charge.

Static Electricity

Pull a wool hat off and your hair tries to stand on end. Walk across a carpet and you may get a shock when you touch something. Why does this happen?

When objects rub, a charge builds upon the surface. The charge can be positive or negative, like the poles on a battery. You cannot see the charge on an object, but you might see what the charge does. The charge makes hairs stand up and balloons stick to walls. The charge can also make a stream of water bend toward the charge.

Because the charge stays in place for a while, we call this charge static electricity. When the charge moves from one object to another, you may see—and feel—the spark.

To learn more about static electricity, watch the video by Ted-Ed on Youtube.

Current Electricity

Current electricity flows along a path called a circuit. A circuit connects the source of electricity to a load that does something useful. The source might be a power plant, or it might be a battery. A light bulb is one type of load.

To learn more about circuits, watch the video by SciShow Kids on Youtube.

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