Separate Salt and Pepper With Static Electricity

What You Need:

  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Plastic spoon
  • Wool cloth or clothing

What You Do:

  1. Help your child measure about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of pepper. Then, have her use the spoon to mix them together as well as she can.
  2. Ask her what she thinks is the best way to separate the salt from the pepper. Can she think of a way to separate them using only the spoon?
  3. Have her rub the plastic spoon on a piece of wool cloth. Tell her that as she rubs the spoon, she's giving the plastic spoon a negative charge. Something that's negatively charged will attract the positive particles in different objects.
  4. Have her hold the spoon about an inch above the pile of salt and pepper. Both salt and pepper will be attracted to the spoon, but pepper is lighter, so if she holds the spoon in the right place, the pepper should jump up and cling to the spoon!

For another fun experiment with static electricity check out this magic balloon experiment.

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