Introduction: Superhero Lightning Bolt

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While real lightning is much more powerful, this mini lightning bolt works on the same principal. The sock and Styrofoam create static electricity. Static electricity is what happens when air moves inside clouds making ice and water droplets rub together. The positive electrical charge floats up to the top of clouds, while the negative charges stay at the bottom of clouds. This process causes an unstable separation of electrical charges and lightning is what equalizes the charges, so they become balanced. Unleash the power of static electricity and watch how lightning can be created in your own home! You can feel just enough power to feel like a superhero!


Aluminum pie plate

Styrofoam (the kind they pack with electronics)


Ballpoint Pen


Wool Sock

Step 1: Pierce the Center of the Pie Plate With a Thumbtack From the Bottom Up.

Step 2: Spike the Bottom of the Pen on Top of the Thumbtack. Glue It in Place So It Stands Straight Up.

Step 3: Rub the Wool Sock Back and Forth Across Styrofoam to Begin Creating a Charge.

Step 4: Now, Grab the Pen and Treat It Like a Handle to Lift the Plate Carefully on Top of the Styrofoam. Make Sure Nobody Touches the Pie Plate. If They Do, the Experiment Won't Work.

Step 5: Make Sure the Room Is Completely Dark. Close All Curtains, and Shut Off All the Lights. Get Ready for the Lightning!

Step 6: Choose Where to Strike With the Self-made "lightning". Have Someone Slowly Bring Their Finger Closer and Closer to the Aluminum Plate. Then...ZAP!

Step 7: A Small Bolt of Lightning Should Be Visible to All, and Whoever Touched the Pan Will Have Felt a Tiny Spark. It Will Be Audible If Everyone Is Very Quiet.