Remote Control Roller: Experiment with Static Electricity

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This activity is an investigation of static electricity. What happens when you get "static cling?" Basically, you pile up electrons on one thing, which attracts the protons in something else. In this activity, learners will rub a balloon on their head, then watch as the balloon pushes a soda can across the floor - without ever touching the can! They can also make a trickle of water bend and their hair stand on end. Static electricity really is fun!

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 4 - 11

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • empty soda can
  • blown-up balloon
  • your hair


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


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Murphy, Pat ; Klages, Ellen ; Shore, Linda


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