Near the end of the day I ran into Victor, almost literally. I really should learn not to look behind me when I walk. Victor was levitating a foil shape with a hand held Van de Graff generator while Olga and a few helpers were packing up their booth. Not only is this a cool trick, sure to impress the kids, it’s a great lesson about static electricity.
The FunFlyStick comes with a few insanely lightweight foil (mylar?) shapes that quickly take on a charge from the Van de Graff generator, puff up, and float gently away. I’d recommend using in rooms with a high ceiling and without hanging lamps or fans. The foil is affected by the slightest breeze and is attracted to anything that isn’t negatively charged.
After a little while Olga got tired of packing and brought out a much larger shape and levitated it with two wands. It appeared to be broken strands of the smaller shapes tied together to form a toroid over a foot in diameter. While she was floating the toroid like a flying saucer, she told me of a new model due out this year with clear plastic to be used as a teaching aid.
You can find a bit more information about the FunFlyStick at their web site, Unitech Toys.