Static Electricity Data Sheet

Student Activity #1 - Can neutral objects attract non-neutral ones?


  1. What happened when you put the balloon near the cereal and paper? Was it any different for the side of the balloon with the dot?
  2. Could you get the balloon to stick on all of the different types of walls? How about the part of the balloon not near the dot?
  3. Did the balloon attract the water near the dot? Away from the dot?
  4. From these experiments, what can you say about how charged objects affect regular neutral objects like paper, walls, and water?
  5. Why did we pick less heavy things like paper and cereal in our test rather than something heavy like a pen or a pencil?
  6. After all of your observations, do you know now whether charged objects can attract neutral objects?

Student Activity #2 - The Balloon Electroscope


  1. Why did the balloons repel each other after they were rubbed all over with the wool?
  2. What would have happened if we rubbed one side of the balloons instead of all over?
  3. Why did the balloons fall back towards each other after they were sprayed with water?
  4. What effect does damp weather have on electrical charges?
  5. During which time of the year would it be best to do experiments using static electricity?

Student Activity #3 - Static Electricity with Salt and Pepper


  1. Explain what happens after you rub the ruler.
  2. Why does that happen?
  3. Why did the pepper jump to the ruler before the salt?
  4. Can you think of other ways to separate this mixture?