Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming Activity: Salt and Pepper Dance

September 11, 2019

SteamFest 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

6:00 PM 9:00 PMUTC

Another newbie to SteamFest, Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming are bringing their Star Lab to the day’s festivities on September 29 at Billings Depot. Kiddos will have a chance to experience the dome which houses a 360-degree video projector that turns the curved ceiling into a mountain skyline, a coral reef, and, of course, the night sky. Expect to trace constellations and learn about interstellar phenomena.

In Girl Scouts, they don’t use the acronym STEAM, but STEM as one of the four pillars of the Foundational Girl Scout Experience. They also focus on Outdoors, Financial Literacy, and Life Skills. By making STEM one of the pillars, it’s an acknowledgement that in today’s world, many of the kids that are currently 2nd graders (and younger) will be working jobs that have yet to be invented, and technology is a major driving force.

In anticipation of SteamFest 2019, the Girl Scouts have provided us with an activity that is one of three activities that young girls can do to earn their Home Scientist badge, but it’s great for all kiddos in 2nd grade and younger. 

Girl Scouts Salt and Pepper Dance Activity


  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A sheet of paper
  • 1 balloon


  • Pour the salt and pepper onto the paper
  • Blow up the balloon
  • Rub the balloon in your hair
  • Hold the balloon over the paper and watch the pepper dance

What happens?

  • Ever wonder why your clothes sometimes cling to you? Or why you feel a shock when you touch a doorknob? It's because of static electricity.
  • Static electricity is created when objects get an electrical charge. They get this charge when two objects are rubbed together. Rubbing causes tiny particles called electrons to move from one object to another. The object that loses electrons gets a positive charge, and the one that gains them gets a negative charge.
  • Let's try it now...rub the balloon and put it on your hair. What do you think is happening here?
  • When you rub the balloon against your hair, you give it a negative charge. The balloon takes some of the electrons from your hair, which leaves your hair positively charged. Your positively charged hair is now attracted to the negatively charged balloon so it rises up to meet it.
  • Now rub the balloon on your hair again and hold it over the salt and pepper. What happens?
  • When you rub the balloon on your hair, you are putting electrons on the balloon, giving it a negative charge. Salt and pepper have a positive charge.
  • Since opposites attract, the salt and pepper are both pulled toward the balloon, but pepper is lighter so it moves first. When the salt and pepper touch the balloon, the electrons jump to them. Then, the attraction is gone and the salt and pepper fall off.
  • What happens if you rub the balloon on your hair and touch other objects? Like the wall? Your clothes?


SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2019 @ 12-3PM

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