electrified cereal

This invention is going to make cereal get electrified, and make all interesting and weird movements. It’s quite fun to watch, and quite easy to do. Kids can go for maximum visual pleasure, and this invention is great to demonstrate to the class or at a science fair.

So what you need to do is get a piece of cereal (make sure it is dry), particularly one that is circular (so that you can tie a thread to it). Next get a thread of reasonable length but not too long. Next get a brand new comb or one that is well cleaned and dry.

Tie the piece of cereal to one side of the thread, and tie the other thread to something like a chair, table, or ceiling fan (if it’s low enough to reach).

Now it’s the comb’s turn. What you are wanting to do is ‘charge’ it. This means provide it with an electric charge. It’s easier to do this than you may think. Combing through long dry hair a few times will do the trick, or running the comb through wool many times. This should result in charging the comb.

Ok so the next thing to do is to get the charges to attract and then repel. Charges attract if they are opposite to each other, and repel if they are the same. To get it to attract move the comb towards the cereal. If all goes well the cereal will move towards the comb and try to touch it as you get close. Hold the comb there for as long as it takes for the cereal to move away again.

Now, when you try again, you’ll find that the opposite thing occurs. The cereal will now try and move away from the comb. You’ve done it!

For extra dramatic effect, and to add a touch of humor, have a little script ready to tell the class. Explain, for example, that the comb and cereal were boyfriend and girlfriend. They moved together to kiss each other, but the boy had a very bad breath. So next time the boy tried to kiss the girl, she turned away.

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