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Exploring Static Electricity with Sticky Balloons

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Updated on Feb 28, 2013

Grade Level: Preschool to Kindergarten; Type: Physics

Objective:

This project introduces children to static electricity and the idea that electricity is more than lights and plugs and electric shocks.

Research Question:

Can static electricity make a balloon “sticky”?

Materials:

  • One or more balloons
  • Wool sweater or rug
  • Wall

Experimental Procedure

  • Blow up the balloons.
  • Feel the balloons and the wall. Are they sticky? Does the balloon stick to the wall?
  • Rub a balloon several times across the wool sweater or rug.
  • Place it against the wall. Does it stick to the wall?
  • Rub the balloon across the sweater or rug again.
  • Bring it close to a friend’s hair. Does her hear leap up and stick to the balloon?
  • What else will a rubbed balloon stick to?
  • Extension A: Blow up many balloons and stick them to the walls in fun and colorful patterns.

Terms/Concepts: Static electricity, what causes static electricity?

References: Science Made Simple: What Causes Static Electricty?

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