Cereal That’s ... Jumping All Around!

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12519

Cereal and sugar make a fun and yummy combination for breakfast. Did you know they can also put on a show? Thanks to the science of static electricity and household items, you can positively have fun!


Physical Science

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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A pun on the run

"Oh no! I think I lost an electron!"

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm positive!"

Imagine this: You are sitting down to have a bowl of your favorite cereal for breakfast.

But as soon as you are about to put the first spoonful into your mouth, the cereal starts jumping all over!

  • Wouldn't that just be crazy if this happened?

It can happen. At the end of this lesson, you'll learn how to make your cereal jump!

But first, let's learn about the special kind of electricity that makes this happen. To use this kind electricity, you don't need an outlet or even a battery.

It is a special kind of electricity.

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  • Can you guess what kind of electricity it is?

It's static electricity!

  • But what is it?
  • How does it work?

You probably know that all matter is made up of atoms. In atoms, there are both positive and negative charges.

The positive charges are protons, and the negative charges are electrons.

atomic nucleus diagram

Most forms of electricity make electrons flow in a circular pattern called a circuit, as you may have learned in other lessons.

Static electricity is different. The word static means staying still, not moving.

  • But all those things seemed to involve electricity moving, so why is it called that?

With static electricity, the electrons collect in one place. They are negative and are attracted to positive protons. So when they meet up with some protons, they jump toward them!

Watch Exploring Static Electricity, by fun science demos, and you'll see some really amazing demonstrations of the power of static electricity!

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Jump on over to the Got It? section for more positive learning about static electricity!

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