|A simple electromagnet which can be turned on and off with a switch.|
1) The girls experimented a variety of metallic objects to see what would be picked up by a magnet (random bits from around the house: monopoly pieces, matchbox cars, tent stakes, bobby pins, coins, keys, batteries, ornament hooks, nails...some things from Bob's tool box-lug nuts? lotsa stuff.) this took more time than I thought it would because it was fun.
2) We made compasses, by first magnetizing embroidery needles from the first activity and floating them on cork disks. This was fun, but not a great way to find north due to all the metal objects still on the table, and the metal table frame. It was more fun to push the little cork boats around with magnetized junk. One interesting point--the "N" end of our compass points to the North Pole of our earth, which is itself a giant magnet. But, we know that opposite poles attract. Thus, we see that the earth's North Pole is actually its magnetic SOUTH pole. I am pretty sure I never knew that. Did everybody know that but me?
3) We observed the shape of a magnetic field by dumping iron filings out on glass, and putting two attracting magnets underneath. The filings obliged by lining up along the magnetic field lines. This was also fun to play with, waving magnets above and below the filings. We washed up really well after this.
|Nancy Drew approves of this experiment.|
|A cork was used to make the wire coil.|
But you can see it was a fun class. How have I made it this far in life without a battery pack and a volt meter? Dear Santa....