Jumping Beans

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In this physics activity (page 3 of the PDF), learners will explore the concept of static electricity. They will discover how electrical charges created by friction can affect small objects as they witness beans jumping as if by their own power. Although this activity was designed to be used after a visit to a museum exhibit about electricity, it also makes an excellent stand-alone activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Three soybeans
  • One 11 inch clear balloon


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009