Steve Spangler Science

Heartbleed Security Vulnerability Fixed   •   Get 2 Free Sick Science! Kits   •   Free Experiments by Email

On Monday we learned about a vulnerability in the encryption technology that effects most of the internet, called Heartbleed. Our team grabbed their lab coats and leaped into action to patch the vulnerability on our site.

We are happy to announce is no longer vulnerable.

While we believe we have kept out all the bad guys, we want to make sure our customer's information is safe. We are requiring that all of our customers change their password for their accounts on

To do so, click the link below and enter in the email address associated with your account. Once you receive an email to that account, follow the simple instructions to reset your password.

Reset your password -

If you have any questions on password resetting, please call our Customer Service team and they will be happy to help you. 1-800-223-9080

If you have any questions about the vulnerability please email

As this did effect most of the internet, we also recommend that you change your passwords on all of the websites you visit.

Thank you for being an amazing customer!

-- The Team

Questions? Give us a Call: 1-800-223-9080

Spinning Match - Table Trick

The science of static electricity and friction makes this matchstick rotate.

Rating: 54321

Submit A Review

When you cautiously balance a matchstick on the rim of a coin that has also been precariously balanced onto another coin, it might sound like rotating the matchstick will cause it all to come tumbling down. That might be the case if you were to use your hands. What if you were to use static electricity to rotate the matchstick? Would that even work? We'll show how this isn't just possible, it's downright cool.

  • Clear plastic cup
  • Matchstick
  • Two nickels
  • Balloon
  • Safety glasses
  • Adult supervision


  • Spinning Match - Table Trick - Sick Science! #106
Print Experiment


  1. Lay one nickel flat on a table.
  2. Carefully balance the other nickel, vertically, on top of the nickel that is laying flat on the table.
  3. Balance a matchstick on the vertically balanced nickel. It might take you a couple of tries, but you'll get it! Once you have the entire setup complete, it should look like the picture on the right.
  4. Being careful not to bump your balanced apparatus, place the plastic cup over the matchstick and nickels.
  5. Blow up and tie off a balloon.
  6. Rub the balloon against your shirt, hair, or against a rug to generate some static electricity.
  7. Maneuver the balloon around the outside of the cup and watch as the match follows the balloon. Neat!

How Does It Work?

You probably guessed this by now, since you rubbed the balloon against your shirt, hair, or carpet, but this experiment revolves around static electricity. When you rub the balloon on a coarse surface, you give the balloon additional electrons, generating a negative static charge. Meanwhile, the match, delicately balancing inside of the cup, has a neutral charge.
When an object has a negative charge, it will repel the electrons of other objects and attract that object’s protons. When the neutrally charged object is light enough, like the match in this case, the negatively charged object will attract the lightweight object. But try attracting a match while it’s laying on a table... it doesn’t work! You need to reduce the amount of other forces acting on the match for this experiment to work, and that’s why you balance the match on the rim of a nickel. Balancing the match enables less surface area to be directly effected by friction, which enables the match to rotate more freely.

Customer Reviews

Awesome Review by Marsha Nixon

All the 5 yr. olds in my classroom are going to love this!

(Posted on August 29, 2012)

LIKE!! Review by Deborah Kauffman

I haven't tried it yet, but I know the students will LOVE this one!!! Can't wait!!!

Thanks for all the cool "WOW!" videos!

(Posted on August 30, 2012)

Write Your Own Review

You're reviewing: Spinning Match - Table Trick

How do you rate this experiment? *
1 star 2 stars 3 stars 4 stars 5 stars