Science Projects for Kids: Current Electricity

Try Sticky Balloon activity!
Try Sticky Balloon activity!
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

In Science Projects for Kids: Current Electricity, you can discover answers to all kinds of questions about how positive and negative charges work.

For instance, did you ever rub a balloon up against your hair? What caused your hair to stick out in the air? Why does water, flowing down from a faucet, spray out in all directions when you place a comb under it? What causes a light bulb to illumine?

Satisfy your curiosity with Science Projects for Kids. Learn to think like a scientist while you're having fun discovering how things work. Click to the next page or on the links below to begin your exciting exploration into the world of electricity.

Sticky Balloon

Learn why opposites attract when you get a charge out of a sticky balloon.

Trickle Down Activity

Learn why water flowing down from a faucet sprays out in all directions when you place a comb under it.

Bloody Current

Discover how to turn neutral water into an electric generator with this fun and exciting experiment.­

­Click to the next page to learn more about why your hair sticks out in the air when you rub it with a Sticky Balloon

For more fun science projects for kids, check out:

Sticky Balloons

Try the Sticky Balloon experiment.
Try the Sticky Balloon experiment.
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

By rubbing a Sticky Balloon on your head, you cause it to grab negative charges out of your hair. When the negative charge goes away, your hair is left with an excess of positive charges. So, a charged object can stick to a neutral object by producing an opposite charge. Experiment with a "Sticky Balloon"of your own in this activity.

What You'll Need:

  • Cloth (wool, polyester, or nylon)
  • Balloon
  • Stopwatch

Step 1: Rub a cloth on a balloon, or rub a balloon on your hair.

Step 2: Put the balloon up against a wall, and let go.

Time how long it stays on the wall. Try different cloths and different wall surfaces to see which makes the balloon stick the longest. Make sure you rub it the same number of times each time you charge it to make the comparisons fair.

What Happened? The balloon rubbed with the cloth became negatively charged. When brought near the wall, the negatively charged balloon repelled electrons in the surface of the wall and created a positive charge on the surface of the wall. Opposite charges attract, so the negative balloon stuck to the positive wall surface.

As the balloon lost charge to the air and wall, the attraction decreased, and eventually the balloon fell.

Go to the next page of science projects for kids: current electricity to learn about how to change the path of water trickling from a faucet in your home.

For more fun science projects for kids, check out:

Trickle Down Activity

In Trickle Down Activity, you can make a stream of water completely go in all directions. By simply using a comb charged with static electricity, you can bend the flow of the water. That's because when the neutral water becomes attracted to the charged comb, it moves towards it. Give it a try in this activity.

What You'll Need:

  • Balloon or comb
  • Cloth (wool, polyester, or nylon)
  • Faucet

Step 1: Charge a comb or balloon by rubbing it with a cloth.

Step 2: Turn a faucet on so the water falls in a slow, gentle stream.

Step 3: Place the balloon or comb near the falling water and watch how the water acts.

What Happened? By rubbing the balloon or comb, you caused it to have a charge of static electricity. The negative charge of the object acted to repel the negative charge that the moving water had, causing the water to change its path.

Go to the next page to learn how water can become an electric generator.

For more fun science projects for kids, check out:

Bloody Current

Try the Bloody Current experiment
Try the Bloody Current experiment
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

This spooky bloody current trick will amaze your friends and teach them about ions and electricity. By dissolving household salt in water, ions can move through water. The movement of the ions carries a charge that can illumine a light bulb. Grab the supplies that you need and try this fascinating experiment.

What You'll Need:

  • Salt
  • Measuring spoons
  • 3 bowls
  • Red food coloring
  • Water
  • Mixing spoon
  • 3 insulated wires (about 5 to 7 inches long), stripped at both ends (ask an adult for help)
  • Flashlight bulb and bulb holder
  • 2 D batteries
  • Tape
Try the Bloody Current experiment
© 2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Step 1: Place about 5 teaspoons salt in one bowl. Put 6 drops red food coloring into 1 tablespoon water in another bowl, and then pour it over the salt. Mix.

Step 2: Set up the electric circuit by referring to the diagram and steps below.

Step 3: Attach wire A and wire B to the two terminals of the light bulb holder (with light bulb attached).

Step 4: Tape the free end of wire B to the positive end of the first battery. Place the other battery's positive end next to the first battery's negative end.

Step 5: Tape wire C to the negative end of the second battery. Be sure batteries are touching each other.

Step 6: Test your circuit by touching the free ends of wires A and C, which should cause the bulb to light. If not, fix your circuit, then go on.

Step 7: Bend the free ends of wires A and C over the third bowl. Fill the bowl with water until the wires are well below the surface of the water. The light bulb will not light because water is a poor conductor of electricity.

Step 8: Now have friends come over. Show them the setup. Ask them if they know who Frankenstein's monster was. The monster was "born" when electricity brought him to life. Show them the red salt, and tell them it is dried monster blood.

Step 9: Pour the red salt into the water, and stir. As the salt dissolves, the light comes on!

For more fun science projects for kids, check out:

ABOUT THE DESIGNERS

Bloody Current by Peter Rillero, Ph.D.

Peter Rillero, Ph.D. is the Department Chair of Secondary Education and associate professor of science education at Arizona State University in Phoenix. He is the author of Time for Learning: Science; Time for Learning: The Human Body, and Totally Creepy Bugs, and the co-author of the best selling high school biology textbook in the United States. Rillero has conducted two program evaluations of the world's largest science fair, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Visit Dr. Rillero's Web site.

Computer Illustration by: Rémy Simard