Magnet Bases

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4 Bases (10 minutes each) for doing experiments with magnets


Do these ones:
A big box or chalk to draw an area. Paperclips. Gold paper/card. Magnets. pencils/canes, String
Magnet Experiment with Paper clip
Magnet, Jar / large glass, Paperclips,
Magnet Predictions
Magnets each, paper & pencil for writing down their predictions, piece of paper, piece of card, piece of cloth
Selection of objects to test such as key, coins, paper, pencil, tin, plastic bead, paperclip, teaspoon, tissue, tent peg, tin foil, pen, wooden spoon, non magnetic can

Don't do these ones:
Make a Compass
Sewing needle, milk bottle lid (or a cork), a pie dish (or something similiar) a magnet, and water
Magnet Experiment with Cereal


Magnet Fishing
Draw an area on the floor filled with pieces of fish shaped paper/card with paper clips stuck to them. The beavers are equipped with string tied to pencils/canes. On the other end of the string is a magnet. The beavers have to get as many as they can, but they can only get one at a time. As soon as there are none left everyone stops and the one with the most wins.

Make a Compass
(See attached)
The first step is to turn the needle into a magnet. The easiest way to do this is with another magnet -- stroke the magnet along the needle 10 or 20 times as shown in the attached document
2. Place your float in the middle of your dish of water as shown below.
The "float on water" technique is an easy way to create a nearly frictionless bearing. Center your magnetic needle on the float. It will very slowly point toward north. You have created a compass!

Magnet predictions
guess what items a magnet will pick up and those it won't and why
Instructions - Give each Beaver Scout a magnet (this could be an ordinary fridge magnet)
- Show the Beaver Scouts an object and asked them if they think it is magnetic or not
- The Beaver Scouts test the object and write down whether it is or is not magnetic
- Test how strong each magnet is by seeing how many paperclips it can support
- Test each magnet to see if it can pick up a paperclip through different types of material - paper, card, cloth etc.
- Note that objects that contain iron or steel are magnetic.

Magnet Experiments
Tricky paper clip
- Fill large glass with water
- Drop in paper clip
- “How can you get this paperclip out without touching the water?”
- Use magnet to slide along the side

iron enriched cereal
There is a lot of iron in our food. It's an essential element to our diet and health, and if we don't get it we suffer serious health effects, such as anemia.
However, it's still iron, and that means it's still magnetic! Most foods have such a negligible amount of iron that a magnet won't affect it. However, some foods are 'iron enriched', meaning they have been augmented for health reasons. Many breakfast cereals have an augmented amount of iron, and that makes them the perfect food for this experiment.
First, get a strong, neodymium magnet. Then, take a breakfast cereal that has a large percentage of your recommended iron intake. Bran Flakes are a good choice.
Put the cereal in a bowl and smash it up until it's a fine mixture. Then, use your strong neodymium magnet and try to isolate the iron from the cereal.
If you do it right, you'll see little black specks of iron appear on the magnet! Amazing, right?
If your magnet is strong enough, it might even attract the cereal flakes themselves without smashing them up.


  • Magnets

Badge Links

  • Creative - Magnet
  • Experiment - Experiment
  • Experiment - Explain
  • Experiment - Investigate
  • Experiment - Predict
  • Scientist - Compass
  • Skills - Problem solving