Every week at the end of girls science club, each girl “tells us what she has learned” and gets to pick a small token to take with her. We used to give out candy, but have switched to stickers and balloons (to be healthier!). Balloons are the current hot item, so I thought incorporating balloons into the actual activity would be fun! To incorporate balloons, I themed the activity around static electricity.
The hour was divided into four activities:
- Stick a balloon to the wall. In this activity, we had the girls rub the balloons either on their heads or with wool socks/sweaters, and then stick them to the wall. It was also neat to see the balloons stick to the wool socks!
- Then, we tested out which materials can generate static. We rubbed different types of spoons (wood, plastic, metal) with the wool and tried to “pick up” salt and pepper. One girl spilled her salt on the table and used the balloon to pick it up! I thought that was a great idea!
- After determining that plastic was the best spoon material to generate static, we rolled aluminum cans with the balloons. To do this, you rub the balloon and put it near (but not touching) the can.
- Lastly, we made butterflies with tissue paper wings. To get the wings to “flap”, we rubbed the ballon and put the ballon near the tissue paper wings.
Thankfully, it was a cold day in Boston and the heat was on high, allowing us to generate a lot of static!