A Van de Graaff generator is the classic way to demonstrate the production of static electricity and its effects. This reassuring film is specifically designed to dispel all your fears about using one and give you lots of great tips and ideas into the bargain. It even shows you how to use a hair dryer if the machine doesn’t work when you go to use it with a class – every teacher’s nightmare.
It’s a good idea to leave the Generator in front of a heater for a while after it comes out of storage, this will help to ensure there is no moisture on the belt. Having said that, if you know beforehand that it’s a damp day, it’s probably better to postpone the demonstration.
The film makes clear how to use a Van de Graaff without giving anyone an electric shock and for some students this will be really important. However, a few shocks can make for a great lesson and this film will reassure teachers that they can do this safely.