Electric Field Hockey

In this engaging video game, the student places fixed charges on a game field to create an electric field in an attempt to accelerate a positively or negatively charged puck into a goal. The game allows for optional visualization of the electric field lines as well as the path followed by the puck as it accelerates through the field. The student can increase the level of difficulty of the game by placing barriers on the game field. Lesson plan and homework resources are available for the teacher on this site. The electric field created by a fixed, or static, charge distribution exerts a force on a charged particle that is placed in the field. If the charged particle is free to move, it will accelerate due to the electric force created by the electric field generated by the fixed charges. These are abstract concepts that can be difficult for high school students to visualize. Students often have difficulty understanding that acceleration of a charged particle by the field happens in opposite directions for positive and negative charges. They often oversimplify the acceleration by assuming that the charged particle will therefore strictly follow the electric field lines. The pattern of field lines formed by a configuration of fixed charges is also difficult for students to predict. This game provides practice in both visualizing an electric field structure arising from a static charge distribution and understanding how the electric field affects the behavior of a free charge placed in the field.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3231.5.1
Examine the properties of electric forces, electric charges, and electric fields.
GLE 0801.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 

Learning Goals:

  • Determine the variables that affect how charged bodies interact.
  • Predict how charged bodies will interact.
  • Describe the strength and direction of the electric field around a charged body.
  • Use free-body diagrams and vector addition to help explain the interactions.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints

Topics discussed:

  • Electricity
  • Electric Charges
  • Electric Field