Anything that spins grabs my attention; anything that produces a spark also grabs my attention! If you are similar then the SparKIT Mini Electrostatic Generator Kit might be the project for you. The SparKIT Mini Electrostatic Generator kit, once assembled, becomes a miniature version of a classic Wimshurst generator. This design has two metallic contra-rotating disks that build a static charge between them. This charge is stored in capacitors until discharged between the two terminal rods, although there are lots of other experiments and accessories you could use to direct the sparks!
This is a really well-thought-out kit that requires some soldering and general assembly. You’ll need a screwdriver, a pair of pliers and around an hour to assemble it. Looking through the documentation and build instructions it seemed to be lacking in details about fitting capacitors to the system — but then it revealed that the capacitors are pre-installed and hidden in the frame!
On the product page, there is a nicely curated set of extra options including paper instructions. They’ll even supply a mini screwdriver in the kit should you need one. A lovely accessory option is a Corona spinner; this little PCB and stand can be clamped onto one of the terminal rods and, by adjusting the spacing of the rods, you can make the rotor spin! All in all, this is a great way to explore a classic piece of technology and we’re sure it will make a great tabletop conversation starter.