Film Canister Leyden Jars with Video

Tami O'Connorby: Tami O’Connor

During my 16 years in the classroom, my students and I have accumulated a plethora of fond and one or two not-so-fond memories. One memory that still makes me cringe deals with the amount of time I spent traveling from one film-processing center to the next, in search of those perfect little containers I made such great use of within the walls of my science Rocket Film Canistersclassroom. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about…those little containers, which could be used for everything from conveniently and securely storing small amounts of solids or liquids to acting as the engine compartment of the well-known makeshift paper rocket.

What versatile things those film canisters are…

Thanks to Bob Morse of St. Albans, we have found yet another use for those mini containers. In this short segment, Bob demonstrates how to construct a simple Leyden jar that is large enough to produce a nice spark, yet small enough to be perfectly safe, and best of all, durable enough to reuse over and over again! The only materials needed are a film can, a small strip of aluminum foil, a paper clip, a small section of PVC pipe, a cloth or piece of fur to rub on the pipe and a small amount of water.

How to Build a Leyden Jar

Rocket Film CanistersIn this age of digital cameras, 35mm film canisters are becoming a thing of the past. Educational Innovations can supply you with clean film canisters to use in your home or classroom. Check out the other activities we have for film canisters, and please feel free to share your own ideas with us.



Static Electricity Activities with the FunFlyStick ™

Ron Perkinsby: Ron Perkins

This static generator amazes adults and children alike, and is the perfect static electricity demonstration for any classroom.

Simply touch the FunFlyStick ™ to the Mylar FunFlyers, and watch them instantly expand and float.

Inside the Fun Fly Stick is a moving rubber band, which creates a static charge on the wand. FunFlyStickWhen the wand is touched to the Mylar shape, this charge transfers from the Fun Fly Stick to the Mylar. Because like charges repel, the Mylar instantly expands and floats above the Fun Fly Stick wand.



I. Move an Empty Soda Can Without Physically Touching the Can!

Materials: FunFlyStick ™; empty 12 oz. soda can


A. Place an empty soda can on its side on a level surface.

B. Activate the Fun Fly Stick ™ and hold the charged wand parallel to the can. As the wand is moved closer to the can, the can will start to roll toward the Fun Fly Stick ™. Try to keep the Fun Fly Stick ™ separation distance equal and ahead of the movement.

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