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Science Rocks!

Electric Gelatin


your results

Sent in by:
Devin of GA

It's a dessert with a charge!

Materials Needed

  • balloon
  • unflavored gelatin powder
  • paper plate
  • wool scarf or sweater
  • plate



  1. Check with a grown-up before you start this.
  2. Pour some unflavored gelatin powder on a paper plate.
  3. Blow up a balloon and tie the opening shut.
  4. Then, rub something made out of wool on the balloon for 10 seconds.
  5. Now, you've stuck electrons from the wool on the balloon. Hold the charged area of the balloon (the part that you rubbed with the wool) an inch above the gelatin powder. Don't let the balloon touch the gelatin.
  6. What happens?
  7. Slowly raise the balloon. Now what happens?
  8. Here's how it works. When you rub the balloon on the sweater, you charge the balloon with static electricity. You may have seen static electricity before. It is what makes your hair stick up when you take off your sweater, or what makes socks stick to other clothes when you take them out of the dryer. When the balloon is charged with static electricity, it attracts the gelatin particles. When the charged balloon is brought near the gelatin, the gelatin becomes charged, too. That is why the gelatin sticks together.

See what happens if you try to do this using flavored gelatin powder instead of unflavored. How do you think this will work with salt or sugar? What happens if you rub the balloon on a different material, like a paper towel? Choose one thing to change (that's the variable) and predict what you think will happen. Then test it and if you come up with some cool discoveries, send them to ZOOM.

Some of your Results

Merlye, age 11 of Yankton, SD wrote:
I had a hard time charging the balloon with wool. I used fleece pj bottoms and it worked great!

Jaime and Victoria of Saint Louis, MO wrote:
It worked ... so cool.

Emma, age 10 of NY wrote:
it worked perfectly and the electric bit was fine. there was a few problems but it all worked out in the end.

Kelsey, age 11 of Sutton, MA wrote:
i did it for my science fair and everyone loved it. it was the most popular experiment!!! they loved how the gelatin stood up. ver cool!!!

Casandra, age 10 of Brisbane, AU wrote:
It went all crackly and the gelatin sort of stood up, like stalagthingys. Then when I moved it away heaps of the gelatin was on the balloon. It was so cool.

Michael, age 12 of Coram, NY wrote:
I didn't have unflavored gelatin so I tried the flavored kind and compared it to regular white sugar to change the variable. The flavored gelatin rose higher than the sugar. I had fun!

Eugene, age 10 of Bloomington, IL wrote:
The gelatin went up on the baloon and it looked like a forrest.

Dre, age 13 of Indy, IN wrote:
it was really cooled

Preeti, age 14 of Queens, NY wrote:
Though we may be 14 years old, we are still faithful Zoomers! We watch practically every day! Yesterday, your Electric Gelatin Zoom Sci caught our eye. The way the static electricity on the balloon attracted the powedered gelatin was amazing! You said to try it and send in our results so, that's what we're doing! We tried 22 different powdered substances and here are our results. We sifted all the powders and rubbed the balloon 30 times on a 100% lamb's wool sweater before testing each powder. brown sugar-worked baby oatmeal (dry)-worked the best enfamil-failed groud tea-worked powdered sugar-failed ground cloves-worked ground oreos w/o filling-worked cajun spice-worked baking soda-worked groun cummin-worked wheat flour-worked white flour-failed black pepper-worked salt-worked dry potato spuds-worked seasoned salt-worked cream of tartar-failed ground cinnamon-failed meat tenderiser-worked corn starch-failed pancake mix-failed garlic salt-worked

Michelle, age 11 of Youngstown, OH wrote:
When I touch it eletric sting.

Miley, age 7 of Santa Clara, FL wrote:
When I did it it was so cool. I did not eat it beacause I hate unflaverd gelatin

Carlee, age 12 of Westville, NS wrote:
What happend was it worked great! I tried a lot of stuff and every thing worked out perfectly except the cocoa! it was very fun!!!

Anna, age 10 of Cincinnati, OH wrote:
The first time it didnt stick that good because I didnt rub hard enuf. But then da second time I did it I rubbed harder and it worked.

Alyssa, age 10 of Brunswick, ON wrote:
It worked really well! it stuck to the balloon every time I tried it. Flavored gelatin didnt work very well, though.

Charlotte, age 11 of Baltimore, MD wrote:
The powder lifted as if it was a force pulling it and it actually was wow!

Jessica, age 9 of Surrey, BC wrote:
The Gelation looks Cool when you put it under the Balloon. The Suger din't work as well as the Gelation. It was some fun!!

Ange, age 11 of Markham, ON wrote:
When I held the charged balloon on top of the unflavoured gelatin powder, the gelatin powder stuck to the balloon, and on the plate were little stalagmites. When I tried it with sugar, the froce was not as strong, but the sugar still attracted. The little stalagmites still appeard, but didn't stay for as long because it had less attraction force. I used this experiment to hand in a science report at school and I got an A! I love this experiment. It is so cool!

Catherine, age 9 of Yardley, PA wrote:
Me and my mom tried it with flavored Jell-o, but it still worked really well.

Kimberlia, age 7 of ON wrote:
The gelatine flew up to the balloon and it stayed. the flavoured gelatine didn;t work so well.

Anesti and Carlos, age 10 of FL wrote:
We did different trials with the salt, suger, and gelatin using wool first then cotton. The wool gave a stronger electric charge than the cotton.

Tori & Catherine of Springdale, AR wrote:
The gelatin is a great project. It is also fun. The flavored gelatin poped up and down and it did not work so well. But the unflavored geltain worked so much better. We could accualy see the gelatin rise from the plate!!

Becky, age 13 of Poplar Bluff, MO wrote:
The electric gelatin rocks! It is so fun to do and I enjoyed it a lot! When I did this the gelatin started to attract to the plate. I used the unflavored becuase the flavored doesn't work as well as the other. I also am planning on trying it with sugar. Hopefully it will work as well as the unflavored gelatin!!!

Abbie, age 16 of DC wrote:
I used flavored and unflavored gelatin and the flavored worked pretty good, but the unflavored worked the best! It made little mountains out of the gelatin!!!

Leonardo of Deerfield Beach, FL wrote:
It worked great, it looked like the gelatin got stuck to the baloon,.

Phillip & Isaiah of Houston, TX wrote:
First a little bit flew off the plate but later the gelatin jumped on the balloon like a tornado.

Michelle, age 11 of Joliet, IL wrote:
It was awesome! The gelatin just stuck in a long line! The flavored gelatin worked well, but not as good as the unflavored!

Gill, age 12 of Hayward, CA wrote:
I tried it with sugar and it work.

Breanna, age 12 of Rock Hill, SC wrote:
Wool makes the gelatin make the most static eletricity instead of silk and ryon.

Sarah, age 7 of Hackensack, NJ wrote:
The gelatin jumped into mid air!

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