John Travoltage

Did you get to play with electric currents or were you grounded? An electrifying simulation shows how building up a charge of electricity creates a static shock once grounded. Pupils rub John's foot across the carpet and view the buildup of negative charges throughout his body. Then as his hand moves near a metal doorknob, a shock is felt as the charges become neutral.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Ask for a volunteer to perform the activity in person and attempt to measure the arc of electricity
  • If a carpet square (plush works best) is not available, use a balloon
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer 10+
Pros

  • Includes a PDF document with an overview of the controls, simplification ideas, and insights into student thinking
  • Provides links to eight teacher-created lessons that use the simulator
  • Translates into more than 30 languages
Cons

  • None