Build a compass

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Build A Compass

The magnetic compass is an ancient navigational tool used to indicate the four cardinal directions: north, south, east and west. It's composed of a magnetized needle that aligns itself with the earth's magnetic field to point north. If you find yourself lost without a compass, you can easily make your own using a piece of magnetized metal and a bowl of water.


needle, cork, magnet, saucer, water


See POL print out (added notes below):
- Float the piece of cork on the water
- Magnetize the needle by rubbing over the magnet, in the same direction, about 50 times
- Lay the needle on the cork
- The needle will slowly turn to point north/south, even if you keep turning it another way
- Once magnetized, the needle lines up with the earth's north and south poles just like a compass needle!


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Badge Links

  • Navigator - 4 compass points
  • Navigator - 8 compass points
  • Scientist - Compass
  • Scientist - Experiment