Balloon Mini-Lab


  1. Draw a diagram of each of the three experiments we performed. Next to each diagram, write a short statement about what was done, and what results were observed

  2. Write a paragraph that addresses the following prompts:

  • Define static electricity and charge

  • Identify the fundamental particles that carry charge, and indicate the amount of charge each one carries, in the standard unit of Coulombs

  • Before the balloon was rubbed on anyone’s head, describe (1) the relative quantity (that’s not a number- “relative” means the amount of the two types compared to each other) and (2) the arrangement of the types of charges on the balloon

  • While the balloon was being rubbed on someone’s head, explain what was physically happening that resulted in an accumulation of charge on the balloon. Be sure to use the phrase "charging by friction"

  • State the Law of Conservation of Charge, and using the class assumption that the balloon was gaining electrons, indicate how both the balloon and the person’s hair would be affected by the rubbing

  • When the balloon was held near the water stream, explain what was physically happening to charges within the water molecules that resulted in the observations you recorded. Be sure to use and explain the phrase "charging by induction"

  • Explain why the balloons rotated when the charged areas were brought close together

  • State “Coulomb’s Law,” and explain how the variables in the law would relate to our observations in the experiment.