What Factors Affect the Strength of an Electromagnet?
- Build a working electromagnet from supplied materials
- Ask a scientific question about electromagnets that can be answered with an in-class experiment
- Plan and conduct an experiment to determine how a certain variable affects the strength of an electromagnet
Making an electromagnet from a battery, nail, and wire is a classic science demonstration. But instead of just demonstrating this for your students, let them explore it themselves! In this lesson they will discover how different variables affect the strength of an electromagnet.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
Materials used to create an electromagnet include: a straw, a wooden pencil, metal nails of various sizes, alligator clips, paper clips, sandpaper, a spool of copper wire, tape, a D cell battery, a battery holder and scissors. These items can be used test the strength of the electromagnet based on how many paperclips it can lift.
For each group of students:
For classroom demonstration (optional):
Electricity, Magnetism, Electromagnetism, Forces
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
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