The Magic Of Piezoelectricity: Demonstrating And Explaining To Students

Piezo systems are all of the components and OEM parts related to piezoelectricity. To a high school or college student, this is an entirely new subject rarely breached because of the focus on current and current flow used in the U.S.. If you are a science teacher or professor, it is an excellent subject matter to teach in connection with electric conductivity. Here is how you can demonstrate and explain piezo to your students.

Pressure to Certain Materials

Piezo is the Greek word for pressure. Ergo, the first step in setting up this demonstration is to have students bring in all different materials. Be sure to assign certain materials to your students so that you have an equal amount of materials that will respond positively to the experiment and those that will not respond at all. The best materials for a piezo demo are pieces of bone, ceramics, and crystals. Make sure your students understand that whatever they are assigned to bring cannot be returned because it may be destroyed in the experiment.

Constructing a Pressure Platform and Electrical Charge Wires

The next step is to build a platform that can simultaneously deliver pressure while collecting the electrical charge from the materials being squeezed. This usually involves two circular, square, or rectangular pieces of highly conductive metal creating the platform and platform cover, while another machine creates the intense pressure needed to get the objects to throw off their manufactured electrical charge.

You will also need to add electrical charge wires that can be connected to an amp/voltage box with a visible meter. Most of this experiment can be set up ahead of time if your class periods are somewhat short, but it makes for a more interesting lesson if your students watch you set it up. Once it is ready to go, test each assigned object and discuss the effects of the pressure and creation of electricity with your students.

Explaining the Magic of Piezo

Many objects already contain electricity in its resting state. Activating this electricity and getting it to transform into kinetic energy requires force. Newton posited that any force acting upon an object results in a reaction. Ergo, when objects that contain this resting electricity are activated by pressure, the energy can be harvested for a multitude of purposes. Then you can further explain to your students why only certain objects have this resting electrical charge while others do not.