investigating magnetism

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DSVS, 8th Grade, Lab 1, Magnetism


  • 1. Investigating Magnetism
    DSVS Spring 2011
    Eighth Grade
    Lab 1

2. Introduction
Introduce yourself
Explain what DSVS is and what it aims to do
Spend time engaging the students in conversation about science, college, Davidson, etc.
Spend a maximum of 30 minutes on this before beginning the labs
Tailor this presentation to the needs and interests of the class. If theyre bored, move on.
3. The Activities
Suggested Activities for Magnetism are
4. Making a Magnet
5B. Directional Properties of Magnets
7. Magnetic Fields
8. The Interaction of Magnetic Fields
Be prepared to cut activities if you run out of time.
All this information can be found in the student worksheets and instructor guide that comes with your equipment kit.
4. Preliminary Discussion
Ask: What substances will a magnet attract?
Answer: Substances made of iron, steel, nickel and cobalt
Ask: Are all parts of a magnet able to attract with equal strength?
Answer: No. The ability to attract is centered in each end of the magnet. These are called the poles.
5. 4. Making a Magnet (A)
Have the students rub one end of a bar magnet on a steel needle
They must go in the same direction each time, using the same side of the magnet
6. 4. Making a Magnet (A)
Have them test if the needle is magnetic by holding it nearanother uncharged needle
7. 4. Making a Magnet (B)
Begin by assembling the battery.
Use size four, size D batteries. Insert them in the plastic sleeve.
Insert one of the metal tabs between each battery
Tape the two at the ends
8. 4. Making a Magnet (B)
Wrap a nail in the copper wire.
Leave a tail off each end
Strip the ends of the copper wire, scissors work just fine.
Students will likely need help with this.
You might consider doing this for them ahead of time.
9. 4. Making a Magnet (B)
Hook the nail to the battery, completing the circuit as shown.
10. 4. Making a Magnet (B)
Have the students tests the nail for magnetism.
Explain the relationship between current and magnetism.
11. 5B. Directional Properties
Have the students charge a needle as in 4A.
Tape it to the cork and set afloat in water.
12. 5B. Directional Properties
Compare the direction of the needle to a compass.
What happens when a magnet is placed near the needle?
13. Discussion Questions
Did the magnet always come to rest in the same direction?
Which direction is the magnet pointing in according to the compass?
It points in a N-S direction.
Did the needle act like a compass?
Why is it important to make sure the magnet is far away from the compass?
The magnet will attract the compass.
14. 7. Magnetic Fields
Place a magnet in a plastic bag on top of a brightly colored piece of paper.
Scatter iron filings over the top.
Tell students not to waste the filings.
What does the pattern mean?
15. 8. Interactions of Magnetic Fields
Repeat, this time using two magnets with opposite poles near.
Try several arrangements of the magnets.
16. Discussions Questions
Have students draw the field lines shown by the iron filings.
17. Wrapping Up
Clean Up
Discuss the experiments with the class.
Answer any student questions.
Conclude the lesson.
Remind them youll be back next month.
18. References
These activities and discussion questions are from:
Investigating Magnetism
John M. Rogan, Pd.D., Western Montana College
Hubbard Scientific Inc. Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Training slides and photos
Lerin Rutherford


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