Author's Suggestions for A Survey of Simple Electric Motors

title description rating post date author
Homemade Headphones from Picnic Supplies

This lesson provides instructions for building a pair of headphones (or speakers) out of inexpensive materials. It makes for a good science project lasting several hours or a quick demonstration in class if you are willing to build ahead of time, though for a single...

Average: 2.7 (6 votes)
12-Aug-13 guy homemade headphones
Faraday Motor

This lesson shows how to construct and operate a modern version of the first electric motor, invented by Michael Faraday. It serves as an excellent demonstration or hands-on activity to show the basic principles behind the operation of an electric motor.

Learning goals...

Average: 4 (4 votes)
30-Jan-13 guy Faraday motor
Minimalist Motors


Building a simple motor is much easier than most people realize. All it takes is a battery, a magnet and a piece of wire. This lesson reviews some simple motors and demonstrates a minimalist design constructed from a button cell battery, some wire, and a small but...

Average: 5 (2 votes)
26-Jan-13 guy
An Electric Screw Motor

This lesson gives instructions for one of the simplest and most popular designs for a homemade motor. It can be used as an in-class demonstration, or a hands-on activity for students, or a take-home kit. In any of these modes, it offers a wonderful introduction to the...

Average: 4 (4 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy screw motor
Iron and Magnets

This lesson provides general backround on magnets, and suggests several classroom activities involving magnets and iron filings. These include 

  • identifying magnetic materials
  • staging paper clip battles
  • finding the north pole of a magnet
  • ...
Average: 3 (9 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy bar magnet with field lines
Basic Electromagnets

This lesson provides some general background on electromagnets and describes three simple activities for students to explore on their own. For reference, it also includes formulas for the magnetic field strength around several common types of electromagnets.


Average: 2.8 (4 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy wire solenoid with bolt
Classroom Rail Gun

This lesson introduces two homemade versions of the "electric rail gun", a device that uses the principles of electromagnetic propulsion to drive a rod or axle along a pair of conducting rails. Both versions are suitable for in-class demonstration or hands-on activities....

Average: 4.2 (23 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy rail gun with magnets
Safety Pin Motor

This lesson describes a simple motor that can be constructed in 15 minutes with inexpensive materials. It involves all the basic principles of motors involving magnetic force, electromagnets, and commutators (rotating switches common in many commercial motors). This device...

Average: 3.2 (6 votes)
25-Jan-13 guy safety pin motor