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Ms. Eckels from Boston MA is requesting Lab Equipment through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Electricity Is Shocking With a Van de Graaff Generator!

My students need a Van de Graaff generator and other supplies to explore electrostatics.

  • $357 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My students are creative, resilient, humorous, charming and intelligent ninth graders at an urban public school. We are officially a Level 4 under-performing school, which means a huge focus on academics and raising test scores. We work hard to build students' basic skills while also incorporating fun, active and engaging ways to learn.

Many of my students are English language learners who recently moved to the United States, most of them from the Cape Verde islands.

They are the hardest working students I know as they are not only learning English and learning to navigate American culture, but also studying math, history, science and engineering.

My Project

This spring, some of my students went to a Science Expo event and got to experiment with a Van de Graaff generator. They loved turning the hand crank to turn the belt, then touching the metal sphere and feeling that little "zap" of static charge entering their hand. And best of all, then you can "zap" your friends!

Currently, our electrostatics experiments involve simple materials like pieces of Scotch tape, styrofoam plates, balloons, and rolling aluminum cans - and while the simple experiments are great activities, a demonstration piece like this Van de Graaff generator will really bring electrostatics to life.

With these materials, we'll be able to create sparks with the generator, build up positive and negative charge on glass and plastic rods via friction, and watch the pith balls repel or attract. Having high quality equipment helps my students feel like scientists. And when they feel like scientists, they learn so much more.

Ms. Eckels
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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3 donors3 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 60 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
Hand-Cranked Van de Graaff Generator • Sargent-Welch $151.20 1 $151.20
Replacement Belt, Hand Crank Van De Graaff • Sargent-Welch $22.95 2 $45.90
Electrostatic Pompon Set • Sargent-Welch $30.60 1 $30.60
Kit - Electrostatics • Sargent-Welch $29.70 1 $29.70
Pith Ball Electroscope Plastic • Sargent-Welch $11.25 1 $11.25

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


2 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


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Project Activity

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