About Charge Interactions

Highly Recommended
Like all our Science Reasoning Center activities, the completion of the Charge Interactions activity requires that a student use provided information about a phenomenon, experiment, or data presentation to answer questions. This information is accessible by tapping on the small thumbnails found on the bottom right of every question. However, it may be considerably easier to have a printed copy of this information or to display the information in a separate browser window. You can access this information from this page

The Standards
The Charge Interactions activity provides background information regarding charge and charging methods and then describes an experiment in which various objects are charged by rubbing with animal fur. Information regarding their attractive and repulsive interactions is provided in the form of a data table. Questions target a student's ability to retrieve information from a body of text, to understand the design of an experiment, to draw conclusions that are consistent with observations, to make predictions based on a model, to identify the supporting evidence for a particular conclusion, and to predict the results of an additional trial in an experiment.

Success with the activity requires some degree of proficiency with respect to  ...
  • Developing and Using Models (Science and Engineering Practice 2.3)
    Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system.
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data (Science and Engineering Practice 4.5)
    Evaluate the impact of new data on a working explanation and/or model of a proposed process or system.
  • Systems and System Models (Crosscutting Concept 4.3)
    Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.

While the Charge Interactions activity addresses the two NextGen Science and Engineering Practices and the crosscutting concept above, the activity drew its greatest inspiration from ACT's College Readiness Standards for Science Reasoning. The activity consists of 64 questions organized into 16 Question Groups that are spread across the four activities. All three strands (Interpretation of Data - IOD; Science Investigation - SIN; and Evaluation of Models, Inferences, and Experimental Results - EMI) of the College Readiness Standards are addressed in this activity. The code given for the standard includes three letters to indicate the strand and three numbers to indicate the specific standard within that strand. Higher numbers are indicative of more complex science reasoning skills. The relationship between the questions and the standards is as follows:

Complementary and Similar Resources
The following resources at The Physics Classroom website complement the Charge Interactions Science Reasoning Activity. Teachers may find them useful for supporting students and/or as components of lesson plans and unit plans.

Physics Classroom Tutorial, Static Electricity Chapter: Charge Interactions

Physics Video Tutorial, Static Electricity: Charge Interactions

Physics Interactives, Static Electricity: Charging Simulation

Concept Builders, Static Electricity: Getting the Hang of Charge

Concept Builders, Static Electricity: Charge Interactions

Minds On Physics, Static Electricity Module, Mission SE2: Interactions Between Charged Objects