In this science experiment we will explore static electricity and make Rice Krispies
magically jump from the table to the surface of a balloon. We will learn about positive
and negative charges as we seek to understand atoms and electrons. Learn how
- Rice Krispies
- Large Balloon
- Some Wool (sweaters work well)
Procedure Rice Kripsie Static Electricity Balloon
1) Spread some Rice Krispies on the tabletop.
2) Blow up the balloon and tie it off.
3) Charge the balloon with static electricity by rubbing the wool against it. About 10
strokes should work. If not try more.
4) Place the balloon about 1 inch over the top of the Rice Krispies,
5) Watch as the static electricity in the balloon attracts the Rice Krispies. Be amazed as
the Rice Krispies jump from the table and stick to the side of the balloon.
The Science Behind Static Electricity Rice Krispie Balloon
When we rub the balloon with the piece of wool, electrons jump from the wool to the
balloon. This gives the balloon a negative charge. The Rice Krispies on the table are
positively charged. When we hold the balloon over the Rice Krispies the opposite
charges attract, meaning the negatively charged balloon attracts the positive charge of
the Rice Krispies. As a result the Rice Krispies defy gravity and jump to the balloon.
Everything is made up of atoms. You’re made of atoms, the balloon is made of atoms
and the Rice Krispies are made of atoms. Atoms are made up of smaller particles. One
kind of particle is called an electron. Electrons have negative charges.
Some materials pick up electrons really well, like the balloon. Other materials are really
good at giving electrons away, like the wool. When the wool rubs the balloon,
electrons from the wool stick to the balloon. This is static electricity.
So now the balloon has a lot of negative charges, but the Rice Krispies have a lot of
positive charges. Opposite charges attract, and Rice Krispies are pulled towards the
balloon. The charges get weaker when the Rice Krispies touch the balloon and they fall
back to the table allowing the process to start over again. Congratulations you are now
an expert at making static electricity Rice Krispie balloons.
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