This lab is one of the most popular for obvious reasons! In it, students will investigate static charges on balloons, an electroscope, and the Van de Graaff generator. This is a straight-forward lab, but some teacher set-up time is needed. Teachers will need to provide a Van de Graaff generator, an electroscope, and enough balloons and tissue paper for each student. Make sure that none of the students are allergic to latex and use cheap tissue paper, the kind without any lotion if possible. Also, clean the Van de Graaff dome with alcohol before use to get the best effects possible.
The Mythbusters set out to test whether the legend of Ben Franklin getting hit by lightning in an electrical storm is true. Adam and Jamie then explore various myth about flatulence including a detailed look at the composition of flatulence and whether it can kill a person in his sleep through asphyxiation, if certain foods increase flatulence production, and if lighting a match will burn up the smelly gasses or if it just masks them. Scientific topics covered in the episode are electrical resistance, electrical conductivity, static charge, static build up, electrical discharge, voltage, Van de Graaff generators, electrical fields, asphyxiation, chemical reactions, carbon dioxide poisoning, and procuring good baseline data.