Static Spoons

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In this physics activity (page 6 of the PDF), learners will explore how static electricity affects surrounding objects. They will be able to separate a mixture of salt and pepper without touching it with their hands by using statically charged plastic spoons. 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:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per student)

  • Plastic spoons
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup black pepper
  • Bowl
  • Paper plates or trays


  • 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