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Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Physics
Key Concepts
Forces, magnetism
Learning Objectives
  • Identify which magnet poles attract and which poles repel.
  • Identify the poles of an unlabeled magnet.
  • Use this information to make magnets float in mid-air.
lesson plan floating magnets experiment image

Overview

Do your students think making things float in mid-air is a magic trick? Show them how you can do it with science! In this lesson plan they will learn about interactions between magnets and figure out how to make them float.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-3. Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Ask questions that can be investigated based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships.
PS2.B: Types of Interactions. Electric and magnetic forces between a pair of objects do not require that the objects be in contact. The sizes of the forces in each situation depend on the properties of the objects and their distances apart and, for forces between two magnets, on their orientation relative to each other.
Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Credits

Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials


materials for floating magnets experiment

For each group of students:

For teacher demonstration:

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Grade Range
3rd
Group Size
2 students
Active Time
30 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
Area of Science
Physics
Key Concepts
Forces, magnetism
Learning Objectives
  • Identify which magnet poles attract and which poles repel.
  • Identify the poles of an unlabeled magnet.
  • Use this information to make magnets float in mid-air.

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