Photo Credit: Science NetLinks
Perform the activities on this sheet to help you review the concepts of static electricity.
Stuck-Up Balloon Activity
- piece of fur or wool
- a blank space on a nearby wall
- Blow up a balloon and tie the end so that the balloon stays inflated. Without doing anything else, hold the balloon against the wall and see if it will stick. Observe what happens.
- Next, briskly rub the balloon across a piece of wool; you can use a sweater, sock, scarf, or rug.
- Hold the balloon against the wall and see if it will stick. Does the balloon stay?
- What conclusions can you make about the activity? Think about what might be happening to the atoms of the materials.
Dancing Balloon Activity
- 2 balloons
- 2 pieces of thread or lightweight string about 2 feet long (exact length is not critical)
- wool as in previous activity
- Blow up 2 balloons and tie each one closed so that the balloons stay inflated.
- Tie a long thread or string onto the end of each balloon.
- Give each balloon a static charge by rubbing it with fur, wool, or your hair as in the Stuck-Up Balloon Activity.
- Hold each balloon by the end of the thread and try to bring the balloons close to each other. Observe what happens.
- What conclusions can you make about the activity? Again, think about what is happening to the atoms in the balloons.