Science Challenge

Science Challenge

Get involved in our September Science Challenge, static electricity and material properties: Jumping fish.


  • One piece of foil
  • Plastic ruler
  • School sweatshirt/fleece (or any fabric containing some polyester)


  1. Cut lots of little fish shapes out of the foil.
  2. Rub the ruler on your sweatshirt/fleece for approximately one minute.
  3. Hold your sweatshirt/fleece over the fish. Some of them should 'jump' to the ruler.

Try investigating this with fish made of different materials (e.g. paper, card). How long do the fish stay stuck to the ruler? How can you get a large amount of fish to 'jump' to the ruler?

The Science:

Static electricity is what makes your hair stand on end when you rub a balloon on it. This happens when an atom gains or loses an electron. All materials are made of atoms. Atoms contain tiny particles called protons, neutrons and electrons. Balloons and some other objects (like fluffy jumpers) can steal electrons from other surfaces. The extra electrons give a negative charge, which attracts other objects.

Scientist of the Month

Our scientist of the month is Alan Turing.
Can you write some facts about this amazing Scientist?

Why is their work so important to us now?


You can also download our Science Challenge as a PDF.