Key Concepts

Atoms space made of exceptionally tiny particles referred to as protons, neutrons, and electrons.Protons and also neutrons are in the facility of the atom, comprising the nucleus.Electrons surround the nucleus.Protons have actually a confident charge.Electrons have a an unfavorable charge.The charge on the proton and electron are exactly the exact same size but opposite.Neutrons have actually no charge.Since opposite fees attract, protons and electrons lure each other.

You are watching: Compare and contrast protons and electrons


Students will put a static fee on a piece of plastic by pulling it between their fingers. Castle will view that the plastic is attracted to their fingers. Students will certainly be presented to the idea that rubbing the strip through their fingers resulted in electrons to relocate from their skin come the plastic offering the plastic a an adverse charge and their skin a hopeful charge. Through these activities, students will certainly be introduced to several of the qualities of electrons, protons, and also neutrons, which consist of atoms.


Students will have the ability to explain, in regards to electrons and protons, why a charged thing is attracted or repelled by an additional charged object. They will also be maybe to describe why a charged thing can also be attracted to one uncharged object. College student will likewise be maybe to describe that the attraction between positive proton and an unfavorable electrons holds an atom together.


Download the student activity sheet, and distribute one every student as soon as specified in the activity. The task sheet will serve as the “Evaluate” component of every 5-E great plan.


Be certain you and also the student wear correctly fitting goggles.

Materials for Each Group

Plastic grocery bagScissorsInflated balloonSmall pieces of paper, confetti-size

Materials because that Demonstration

Sink Balloon

Do an activity to show that electrons and also protons attract each other.

Students have the right to see evidence of the fees of protons and electrons by law an activity with revolution electricity.

Note: when two materials are rubbed together in a static power activity, one material tends to lose electrons when the other material tends to obtain electron. In this activity, human being skin tends to shed electrons while the plastic bag, make of polyethylene, has tendency to acquire electrons.

Question come investigate

What renders objects tempt or repel every other?

Materials for each group

Plastic grocery bagScissors

Procedure, part 1

Charged plastic and charged skinCut 2 strips from a plastic grocery store bag so the each is around 2–4 cm wide and around 20 cm long.

Hold the plastic strip firmly at one end. Then master the plastic strip in between the thumb and fingers that your various other hand together shown.

Quickly pull your peak hand up so that the plastic strip runs v your fingers. Execute this three or four times.Allow the strip to hang down. Then lug your various other hand near it. Create “attract” or “repel” in the graph on the task sheet to explain what happened.

Expected outcomes

The plastic will be attractive to your hand and move towards it. College student may notice that the plastic is also attracted to their arms and also sleeves. Allow students know that later on in this lesson they will certainly investigate why the plastic strip is also attracted to surface that have not to be charged (neutral).


Note: If students find that their plastic piece does not move toward your hand, it need to not have been charged fine enough. Have them shot charging their plastic strip by holding it down on their pants or shirt and then easily pulling it through the other hand. Climate they need to test to see if the plastic is attracted to your clothes. If not, college student should shot charging the plastic again.


Have students inspection what happens as soon as a rubbed plastic piece is organized near a workdesk or chair.

Procedure, component 2

Charged plastic and neutral deskCharge one strip of plastic the same method you go previously.

This time, bring the plastic strip toward your desk or chair.

Write “attract” or “repel” in the chart.

Expected results

The plastic moves toward the desk.

Explain to students why the plastic is attractive to the desk. The answer take away a pair of steps, so friend can guide students by illustration or projecting a amplified illustration of the plastic and desk.

After pulling the plastic between their fingers, the plastic benefit extra electrons and also a an adverse charge. The desk has the same variety of protons together electrons and also is neutral. Once the plastic gets close come the desk, the negatively charged plastic repels electrons on the surface of the desk. This makes the surface of the desk near the plastic contempt positive. The negatively charged plastic is attracted to this optimistic area, therefore the plastic moves toward it.


Have students charge 2 pieces that plastic and also hold them near each other to check out if electrons repel one other.

Ask college student to make a prediction:

What do you think will happen if friend charge 2 strips the plastic and bring them near each other?

Procedure, component 3

2 piece of charged plasticCharge 2 strips the plasticSlowly bring the two strips of plastic close to each other. Create “attract” or “repel” in the graph on the activity sheet.

Expected results

The strips will move away or repel every other. Due to the fact that both strips have extra electrons on them, they each have actually extra an adverse charge. Since the exact same charges loss one another, the strips relocate away from every other.

Ask students:

What happened when you carried the two pieces the plastic close to each other?The ends of the strips moved away from each other.Use what girlfriend know around electrons and charges to explain why this happens.Each strip has extra electron so they space both negative charged. Due to the fact that like dues repel, the pieces of plastic repelled every other.Explore

Have students apply their expertise of protons and electrons to explain what happens as soon as a charged balloon is carried near pieces of paper.

See more: Two Lines That Do Not Intersect And Are Not Coplanar Lines Ever Intersect?

Materials because that each group

Inflated balloonSmall piece of paper, confetti-size


Rub a balloon on your hair or clothes. Extra Extend

Demonstrate just how electrons can entice a stream of water.

Either perform the adhering to demonstration or display the video clip Balloon and Water.

Materials for the demonstration



Rub a balloon on your shirt or trousers to give it a revolution charge. Turn on the faucet so that there is a really thin present of water. Slowly carry the charged part of the balloon close come the stream of water.

Expected results

The stream of water need to bend together it is attracted to the balloon.

Ask students:

What did you observe once the fee balloon was held near the currently of water?The currently of water bent towards the balloon. Use what friend know around electrons, protons, and charges to define why this happens.When you obstacle the balloon on your hair or garments it choose up extra electrons, giving the balloon a an unfavorable charge. Once you carry the balloon near the stream of water, the electron from the balloon defeat the electrons in the water. Since an ext protons space at the surface of the water, it has a hopeful change. Opposites attract, for this reason the water moves toward the balloon.