Science Projects for Kids: Current Electricity

Sticky Balloons

Try the Sticky Balloon experiment.
Try the Sticky Balloon experiment.
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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.

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