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M9 Magnets

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Aim: To have fun with magnets. This is a 3rd Year activity designed to explore the world of magnetic fields. Taken from the BB Junior Pro Pack M-9


• Various magnets – hardware shop
• Cork
• Card
• Paper
• Tape
• Drawing pins
• Scissors
• Dress making pin
• Paper clips


Find the Strongest Magnet
• Use a magnet to pick up a paper clip.
• Place a second clip on the bottom of the first (the magnetism flows through and helps them cling together).
• Keep adding clips to find the strongest magnet.

Stop the Magnetic Force
• Can you block the power of a magnet by wrapping something round it?
• Wrap the magnet in paper – will it pick up paper clips?
• Now try it with material, foil of a piece of plastic.
• How many layers of material do you need before the magnet is unable to pick up the paper clips?

A Magnetic Boating Game
• Make two or three boats.
• Float the boats in a bowl of water.
• Make a magnetic rod by tying a magnet on a piece of cane with strong cotton or string.
• Without touching the steel pins, make the boats move, and have a race.

A Magic Butterfly
• Make a large butterfly out of paper, colour it, and attach it to a paper clip.
• Hold the butterfly on a sloping piece of card and hold the magnet behind it on the back of the card and watch it move.
• If you make snails or animals instead you can have a race.

Car Driving
• Draw a road layout on a sheet of card with roundabouts, junctions, houses and trees etc.
• Make some card cars and colour these in and put a drawing pin on each of the tabs to hold the cork in place.
• Then using a magnet tied to a stick, under the road, make the cars travel along the road.
• Penalty points can be awarded if the cars leave the road.

Football Game
• Using the same principle as above, with a cork and drawing pin, make a diagram of a football field on a sheet of card.
• Make the players as shown, and then have a game using a light ball (e.g. a table tennis ball) and see who can score the most goals.

Magnetic Fish
• Cut out a number of fish shapes onto card approximately 8cm long and colour them in.
• Attach a paper clip to the end of each fish.
• To make the rods, attach a piece of thread to a length of dowel and fix a magnet onto the other end of the thread.
• Put the fish in a bowl, the boys can now go fishing...

For full details see BB Juniors Pro Pack M9


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