Static Electricity Experiments

Static Electricity Experiment

Seeing a static electricity science experiment is really cool as you see things levitating in the air, just like in magic shows or Harry Potter.  

Luckily you won’t need a magic wand for this science experiment, but you’ll still be able to create your own magic. Try this cool experiment at home! Remember to get an adult to help you if you need to.

static electricity experiment

Static Electricity Flying Bag Experiment

With this experiment, you’re going to charge a balloon and use the electrical charges of static electricity to create flying objects! Wow, who would have known that you could do this?

static electricity balloon experiment

What You Need

  • Cotton towel
  • Plastic produce bag
  • Scissors
  • Balloon

What To Do

  • You’ll need a pair of scissors here to cut a strip from the open end of the produce bag. Once it’s cut, you should have a ring or a band of plastic.

plastic band static electricity experiment

  • Blow up the balloon, using all your breath to get it to its full size. Tie off the end of the balloon.
  • Rub the cotton towel over the surface of the balloon for about 30 to 45 seconds. Make sure you don’t pop it!
  • Now you need to flatten your plastic band on a hard surface and gently rub the towel over the band again for about 30 to 45 seconds.
  • Hold the plastic band about 1 foot, or 30 centimeters over the balloon and let go.
  • Watch in wonder…that plastic band is floating in the air, just like magic!

You should show your teacher this experiment and see what she says…she’ll think you’re really smart.

How Does it Work?

When you rub the towel against the balloon and plastic band, this transfers a negative charge to both objects. The band floats above the balloon because the charges are the same and they will work against each other, not be attracted to one another.

When you rub a balloon on someone’s hair it picks up electrons, which leaves it negatively charged and the hair is positively charged. Opposite charges attract, so when you take the balloon closer to the hair, it will stand up on end trying to get to the charge in the balloon.

static electricity opposite charges

Now you know how static electricity works and you can impress all your friends, pretending you are performing a magic trick!