Fun school projects with magnets and metal – level 3
Science is arguably one of the most interesting and fun subjects for kids. There are endless opportunities for practical experiments that are sure to surprise and excite children’s imaginations. A great way to get into experimenting with science is with the use of magnets. The properties of magnets allow for an “invisible force” to move objects seemingly on their own!
Here is a fun experiment your kids can try using magnets.
Making your own magnetised compass
If your kids are looking for something a little trickier, why not let them try to make their own compass?
For this experiment, you will need 2 needles, a strong magnet, a pencil, a cup and some string.
Step 1: Rub the pointed end of the needle along one side of the magnet, this can be either the north or south end. Make sure you are rubbing the needle in one direction, not back and forth. You might need to do this about 30 times to magnetise the needle. It’s best to let the adult do this job.
Step 2: Test the now magnetised needle with the spare needle to see if it can pick it up. If it can, the needle is ready to use for the experiment. If it doesn’t pick it up, you will need to rub the needle a few more times on the same end of magnet you were using before.
Step 3: With a piece of string that is a couple of inches long, get your child to tie this to the middle of the pencil. Then, at the bottom end of the hanging string, tie the magnetised needle.
Step 4: Place the pencil, with the needle hanging down, over the top of a cup so that the needle is hanging inside the cup.
Step 5: Watch as the needle moves on its own to point north.
Once your kids have got a taste for magnets, you might want to move on to more advanced experiments. Places like RS Components sell high-tech magnetic equipment that will be sure to carry on fuelling your children’s thrill for science!
Difficult words: compass (an instrument used to point north), magnetise (giving something magnetic properties)
What do you think about the experiments?
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