1Cut a strip from the open end of the plastic bag.
2Inflate and tie the balloon.
3Lay the strip of plastic on the table and rub it with the towel.
4Separately, rub the balloon with the towel.
5Hold the balloon still in one hand and toss the plastic above the balloon ... it floats!
Tip:This works best on a dry day and can be difficult on a humid day or in humid climates.
How It Works
When two different materials rub against each other, they become electrically charged - one becomes positive, and the other becomes negative. Opposite charges ATTRACT and like charges REPEL. The balloon and plastic have the same charge, which causes them to repel (move away from each other).
Check out the Full Lesson on Magnets & Static Electricity!
In this lesson, we learn that:
Forces can be applied at a distance through magnetism and static electricity.
The closer magnets are, the stronger the force.
Magnets can push or pull other magnets, depending on the poles.
Electromagnets can be turned on and off with electricity.
Static electricity can push or pull things without touching them.