Simple Science: Static Magic

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Static Magic

Kids will get a real charge out of these three quick activities that prove there's nothing "static" about electricity.

What you'll need

  • Balloons
  • String

How to play

  1. Blow up a balloon and rub it against your head to make your hair stand on end.

  2. Static Magic Step 2

    Tie a second balloon to the end of a long piece of thread. Tape the other end of the thread to the center of a doorway, so the balloon hangs down. Rub the first balloon on your head again, then slowly move it near the one that's hanging. The hanging balloon will swing without being touched.

  3. Static Magic Step 3

    Turn on the faucet so that the water runs in a small, steady stream. Rub the balloon on your head a few times, then move it near the water. The stream will bend without being touched.
    What's happening? When you rub a balloon on your head, the balloon pulls electrons, tiny negatively charged particles, from the hair. The negatively charged balloon then attracts positively charged objects, such as your hair, other balloons, even running water.

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