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Science Lesson 7: How do statically-charged

balloons interact with each other and with other

I can explainmaterials?
what causes static to happen

Background - Schema
What happened when we rubbed the balloon with nylon
When the balloon is rubbed by the nylon netting, the
properties of the balloon change. The ability to become
statically charged is a property of some objects just like
magnetism is a property of some objects. The balloon
has the ability to be charged when rubbed by certain

Sequential Steps to analyze

You will be further investigating this property by testing
the effect that a charged balloon has on different
For each test, they will rub the balloon with nylon
netting and hold it one elbows length above the
Then, slowly lower the balloon toward the objects
without touching or making contact.

Provide each student group with one balloon for each
partner pair, a piece of nylon netting and the materials
they will test.
Make a prediction of how the charged balloon will affect
each of the listed objects.

have students complete each test for the paper, yarn,
pencil, book and pencil shavings and record

have students work with their table partners to tape a
thread to each balloon so that both balloons hang from
the edge of the table, 3-5 cm apart.
Have student groups uncharge one of the balloons by
taking a damp paper towel and wiping off one of the
two balloons.
Then, have partners bring the uncharged balloon
together with a charged balloon and record their

have students charge both balloons and record their

After materials have been collected

create a class chart to record student ideas.
Begin discussion by asking, What happened when you slowly moved
the statically-charged balloon toward the objects?
Some of the objects were attracted to the balloon and some were not
attracted. As the balloon got closer to the attracted objects some
pieces stood up on the table and moved toward the balloon.
How did the two balloons interact when one balloon was charged and
the other was not charged? (They were attracted to each other)
How did the two balloons interact when they were both charged?
(They pushed away or repelled from each other.)

Ask students to think about other objects in the

classroom. Ask, Do you think that all objects have the
property of becoming charged?

What if we rubbed other objects with nylon netting? Do

you think they would become charged and be attracted
to other objects?
Have students think of a few other items to test as a
Guide students to recognize that all objects cannot be
charged, refer back to the test items that were not
attracted to the balloon as examples.

Tell students that sometimes scientists think about the cause and effect relationship between objects. Ask
students to work as a group to come up with an if then statement based on their investigation.

If- then: Cause/Effect

If the balloon is charged, then it can attract some items
like paper pieces, yarn or another balloon. If an object
does not have the property of becoming charged, then
it will not be attracted to a charged object.
Have groups share out their Ifthen statements.

How do statically-charged objects interact with each

other and with other materials?

Statically-charged objects can make some things move without

touching them by repelling or attracting each other. The size of the
force of attraction or repulsion depends on the properties of the object
and the distance apart.

Cap the lesson

The tiny particles that make up matter can have an
electric charge. Electric charges also exert forces. There
are two kinds of charges-positive and negative. In electric
forces, opposite charges attract and like charges repel.
Like magnets, electrically charged objects dont have to
touch other objects to act on them.

Some objects
Some objects become charged after then contact
certain materials. An electric charge that builds up on
an object is called static electricity.

Video to cap it off