Flying Tissue Paper

Use static electricity to make tissue paper fly in the air.

Time: about 1 minute.

Materials:

  • plastic straw (or comb or balloon)
  • issue paper or toilet tissue

Procedure:

  • tear tissue paper into tiny pieces and place on flat surface
  • rub the straw (across your hair 5-10 times)
  • bring the straw close to the tissue paper

Observation:

  • What did you observe?
  • What happens if the sizes of tissue paper are larger (or smaller)?
  • What happens when you use a balloon or comb or other object?
  • What do you think is happening?

Explanation:

When you rub the straw across your hair, you are effectively charging it with an abundance of positive charges. In this case, the tissue pieces are ‘attracted’ to the charged straw because there is an imbalance of charges between the straw and the tissue paper.

Variants:

  • try things other than tissue paper?
  • which works best? A straw or balloon or comb or other object?
  • Try rubbing the straw on other materials. Which ones work the best?

static electricity comb

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Coco Science

Coco is interested in STEAM with a particular interest in the A. She has a hamster named Marshmallow and likes to read, craft, cook and dance.