Make Your Own Lightning

How To Make Lightening

In this experiment, you’re going to be given two different methods for creating lightning at home. You can use this experiment during a science fair to simulate lightning as it occurs in nature. The items needed are usually found at home and this experiment is low in cost, requiring most to only purchase balloons.

Method 1

What You Will Need:

1 large iron or steel pot. Do not use aluminum. (Make sure that your pot has a plastic handle.)

Rubber gloves

1 Iron or Steel fork

1 plastic sheet (a dry cleaning bag is a great option)

Method 1 Instructions:

Step 1: Tape the bag or sheet to the tabletop. (A large counter or kitchen island works too.)

Step 2: Put on your rubber gloves.

Step 3: Make the room as dark as you can. (You still want to be able to see what you’re doing.)

Step 4: Holding the pot by its plastic handle, rub it vigorously against the plastic sheeting. You want to build up as much static as possible.

Step 5: Holding the fork in the other hand, begin to slowly bring it toward the metal pot. When the distance between the two is short enough, you should be able to see an arc of electricity jump between the two objects.

Method 2

What You Will Need:

A few inflated balloons

1 piece of wool clothing or a piece of animal fur. (Uh, no. Not your dog…or the cat.)

A metal surface like a doorknob or metal cabinet.

Method 2 Instructions:

Step 1: Inflate the balloons.

Step 2: Darken the room as much as you can while still being able to see what you’re doing.

Step 3: Rub one of the balloons against the piece of fur or the wool clothing. You want to build up as much static electricity as you possibly can.

Step 4: Slowly move the static-charged balloon toward the metal doorknob or whatever you’ve chosen that’s metal. You should see the electricity arc from the balloon to the metal object once they’re a short distance from one another.


After this shocking project, you might like to try this:

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