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Science Rocks!

Snap, Crackle, Jump


your results

Sent in by:
Jody of NV

Cereal comes to life!

Materials Needed

  • crispy rice cereal
  • paper plate
  • record album
  • wool sweater



  1. Check with a grown-up before you start this.
  2. Be sure to ask an adult if you can use a record. If you don't have one at home, you can usually find them at a garage sale or at a store that sells used items. If you've never seen a record, ask your parents about them. They probably listened to them before CD's were invented.
  3. Rub the record with wool. You can use a sweater or a scarf, anything made out of wool will do.
  4. Then, hold the record above some cereal that doesn't weigh too much, like crispy rice cereal.
  5. See how the cereal stands on end and then jumps from the table and then back again?
  6. Here's why this happens. Everything is made up of atoms. You're made of atoms; the record is made of atoms. Atoms are made up of smaller particles. One kind of particle is called an electron. Electrons have negative charges.
  7. Some materials pick up electrons really well, like the record. Other materials are really good at giving electrons away, like the wool. When the wool rubs the record, electrons from the wool stick to the record. This is called static electricity.
  8. Now the record has a negative charge. Negative charges don't like to be near other negative charges. So, the record pushes away some of the electrons in the cereal and the cereal has a positive charge. Since the cereal and the electrons on the record now have opposite charges, the record attracts the cereal. This attraction is strong enough to lift the pieces of cereal up, against the force of gravity.
  9. When the cereal touches the record, electrons on the record move to the cereal. Now the cereal has a negative charge. Since the record and the cereal both have a negative charge, and negative charges don't like to be near each other, they repel each other and the cereal jumps down from the record.
  10. When the cereal hits the table, the extra electrons can get away, and the cereal is not positive or negatively charged. Then, the whole thing can start again. When the cereal hits the record enough times, the cereal will carry all the extra electrons on the record away and the jumping stops.
  11. To make it start again, you need to rub the record with wool, which will stick more electrons on the record.

Experiment with this to see you can make any changes that affect how the cereal jumps up and down. Try it with a couple of other kinds of cereal, like corn flakes and o's. Then send us your results so we can share them with the world.

Some of your Results

Erin, age 8 of Waterford, VA wrote:
I was trying it for a school science poject, it did not work that well.

Santana, age 14 of OR wrote:
It worked great! I have to make a science fair project and I'm thinking of using this, because I can make a hypothesis out of the "Snap, Crackle, Jump!"

Lil , age 13 wrote:
It work out just great and I had fun

Sarah, age 9 of New Freedom, PA wrote:
Everything jumped on to the ballon and record like crazy! We tried salt, pepper, and puffed rice. Pepper worked the best on the ballon. It was awesome

Rudy, age 12 of Compton, CA wrote:
The cereal flew up but fell down again. Then it went up, this time though it didn't go down.

Camila, age 7 of El Paso, TX wrote:
It was awsome, dancing and jumping!!! love it!!! thank you so much.

Vahn, age 7 of New York, NY wrote:
I tried the experiment with Whole-Grain Cheerie o's. It took about two seconds for the cereal to "jump" up and two seconds to "jump" down.

Katelyn, age 12 of Bridgewater, NS wrote:
The ceral jumped right off the table and then it jumped again.

Xyannie, age 10 of New York, NY wrote:
When I tried this expirement only a few of the cereal jumped on the record.

Courtney, age 14 of Maneca, CA wrote:
It was crazy when I tried it with my freind alexis before we knew it- cheerios, rice krispies cereal, and cinnamon toast crunch were everywhere!

Diana, age 12 of Los Angeles, CA wrote:
Well I tried with many kinds of ceral and it mostly worked with corn flakes.

Sergio, age 12 of Fallbrook, CA wrote:
A little bit of cereal got stuck on the record. Thats all that happened.

Chelsea, age 13 of San Antonio, TX wrote:
I tried it with Cheerios and corn flakes and man did those corn flakes snap crackle pop!!! I loved it when it jumped at me and my sister.

Maya, age 9 of Memphis, TN wrote:
It was really cool, it jumped up like crazy. But I also tried it with different kinds of things like hair. It jumped up and stayed there.

Alana, age 11 of Naples, Italy wrote:
I tried it and it was awesome. I liked when it jumped and hopped it looked like it was flying!

Kara, age 10 of Summerville, SC wrote:
When I rubed the ballon on my head and put it over the rice cripes ceral they started to jump up and down and if you are lucky you may even get a few stuck on the bollon.

Jessica, age 11 of Holland, PA wrote:
The rice krispies were really cool when I tried it. I also tried salt and pepper. I found you need a big record as opposed to a smaller one. I tried a smaller one first but that didn't work.

Destiny, age 10 of South Bend, IN wrote:
It was so cool when it jumped at me and my brother.

Angela, age 12 of Virginia Beach, VA wrote:
When me and my little brother tryed this experiment we used a big yellow ballon, a paper plate, my hair to create static electricity, and sugar. As a result the sugar stuck to the ballon but when we shook the ballon sugar was inside!!!

Leslie, age 9 of Paducah, KY wrote:
I tried salt, pepper, and bakingpowder. Salt and pepper came up like crazy!! Bakingpowder worked also.

Amy, age 12 of Bloomsburg, PA wrote:
It did not work at all!! I tried it over and over again but still NOTHING HAPPENED. I tried different wools but still did not work. I am going to try a different one and I hope that one works.

Ali of Lawton, ME wrote:
NOTHING HAPPEND!!! I'm sure I was doing it right because because I tried it 7 TIMES!!!

Alyssa, age 9 of Charlottetown, PE wrote:
I did snap crakle jump. It worked!!! I am doing it for the scince fair. I can't wait!!! I used salt and sprinkles and rice krispies. The sprinkles did not work because they need more static electrisity. But the salt and the suger worked cause it does not need more static electrisity!!!

Eliza, age 10 of Scottsburg, IN wrote:
Over all I think my experiment went well. For my experiment I used salt and pepper, rice crispies, dried parsley, marshmallows. Instead of a record album and a wool sweater, I used a balloon and my hair to create static eletricity. The salt and pepper and the dried parsley worked the best because it did not need so much static eletricity. The marshmallows and the rice crispies did not work as well because they were more dense. They needed more static eletricity.

Frenton, age 13 of Plaquemine, LA wrote:
The cereal stuck up to the record. It was cool!

George, age 10 of San Antonio, TX wrote:
It was so cool when the cereal just shot up at the disk.

Brittany, age 9 of Logenville wrote:
I tryed rice crispys and tryed to make it stik and it worked!

Slyvana, age 10 of Chicago, IL wrote:
It worked, I got the cereal to work. My teacher gave me an A+ on my report card.

Michael, age 10 of Missouri City, TX wrote:
I tried it but it didn't work but I am doing it for the science fair. I will survive. I am still trying if you have tips wright back. I am using froot loops, cheerios, and golden crisp!

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