Static electricity is the buildup of electric charge on an object. That charge may be positive or negative, depending on whether the object loses or gains electrons. It may result from the transfer of electrons from one object to another or from one location to another within the same object.
One way electrons get transferred is through friction. For example, when you rub a balloon against your head, electrons in the atoms that make up your hair rub off onto the balloon. This loss of electrons leaves your hair with an overall positive charge. The gain of electrons leaves the balloon with an overall negative charge.
Charged objects interact in very specific ways. In this activity, you are going to build up electric charges on balloons and investigate the forces that they exert on other objects.