Magnets and Materials

posted by guy on 11 Apr 2013
last changed 22 May 2015

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ages: 8 yrs to 14 yrs

Up to two hour's worth of basic exploration in magnets and magnetic materials.

subjects: Physics

Iron and MagnetslessonBackground reading for the instructor on how magnetism works. Use the first two slides of the attached file to go over how magnets attract and repel each other. Make sure to include the activity on "finding the north pole".
Magnetic MaterialslessonHave the students search the room for magnetic materials. Try to check off as many metals as possible from the attached worksheet. Follow this activity by passing out compasses and having the students try to find all the magnetized materials in the room. Ask students why a compass always points north. (Because the south magnetic pole of the earth is in the arctic.)
Earth's Magnetic FieldlessonBackground reading for the instructor on the nature and source of earth's magnetic field. Get ready for those pesky questions from students.
A Floating CompasslessonMakes a good demo for a small class or a good group activity for boosting student engagement.
Balancing Magnetic CoinslessonTake a break with the balancing coin act; a good group activity. Bring a collection of magnetic coins or washers to class and let each student try to build a tower of magnetic coins.
Diamagnetism - Levitating Graphite and FrogslessonThis lesson is a worthy finale. It's hard to beat a levitation trick. Students can levitate pencil leads with their own hands.

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