GO IN DEPTH

Stuck-Up Balloon/Dancing Balloon

Stuck-Up Balloon/Dancing Balloon Photo Credit: Science NetLinks

Introduction

Perform the activities on this sheet to help you review the concepts of static electricity.


Stuck-Up Balloon Activity

 Materials

  • balloon
  • piece of fur or wool
  • a blank space on a nearby wall

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Next, briskly rub the balloon across a piece of  wool; you can use a sweater, sock, scarf, or rug.
  3. Hold the balloon against the wall and see if it will stick. Does the balloon stay?
  4. What conclusions can you make about the activity? Think about what might be happening to the atoms of the materials.

 

 

Dancing Balloon Activity

Materials

  • 2 balloons
  • 2 pieces of thread or lightweight string about 2 feet long (exact length is not critical)
  • wool as in previous activity

Instructions

  1. Blow up 2 balloons and tie each one closed so that the balloons stay inflated.
  2. Tie a long thread or string onto the end of each balloon.
  3. Give each balloon a static charge by rubbing it with fur, wool, or your hair as in the Stuck-Up Balloon Activity.
  4. Hold each balloon by the end of the thread and try to bring the balloons close to each other. Observe what happens.
  5. What conclusions can you make about the activity? Again, think about what is happening to the atoms in the balloons.

 

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