Jumping Leaves

This easy Autumn themed static electricity experiment is great for kids of all ages.

Autumn science

Equipment

Balloon

Paper, cut into leaf shapes – tissue paper works best, but you can experiment with different types of paper.

Woolly jumper or hair

Method

Cut up your different types of paper into leaf or tree shapes

Blow up your balloon, and rub it on your jumper or hair. Hold above the tissue paper and watch it jump.

Why it works?

Rubbing the balloon on your jumper or hair, charges it with static electricity, this attracts the tissue paper making it jump up to the balloon where it will stick until the charge wears off.

When the balloon is rubbed onto your hair, tiny particles pass from your hair to the balloon which cause a build up of static electricity. The static electricity pulls on the tissue paper lifting it up.

Autumn science

Extension Activity – static electricity experiment

Does the experiment work with thicker/heavier paper?

Can you time how long the leaves/trees stay stuck for?

If you rub the balloon on your hair for longer do the leaves/trees stick for longer?

Do smaller trees/leaves stick for longer than bigger ones?

Does it work if you rub your T-shirt?

See here for even more fun Autumn themed science experiments.

static electricity experiment

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