Use this engaging magnet experiment when teaching your students about magnetic fields and their effect on magnetic objects.
A Magnet Experiment Perfect for Kids
Magnetism is a tricky force for our young students to get their heads around. For a start, a magnet can make a magnetic object move without even touching it. How crazy and mysterious is that?
Unlock the mysteries of magnetic fields and explore the captivating world of magnetism with this magnet experiment perfect for elementary school students. This hands-on experiment using a bar magnet and iron filings will not only captivate your students but also help them grasp the fundamental concepts of magnetic fields in an exciting and tangible way.
To complete this experiment, you’ll need a bar magnet, some iron filings, a sheet of paper and a tray. The procedure for this magnetic field experiment is outlined below:
- Position the Bar Magnet – Start by placing the bar magnet in the center of the tray. This is where the magic begins!
- Cover with Paper – Lay a piece of paper carefully over the bar magnet, ensuring it completely conceals the magnet beneath.
- Sprinkle Iron Filings – Gently and evenly sprinkle the iron filings over the piece of paper. Watch as the experiment comes to life!
This is the point at which your students can analyse and learn from their observations. Once the iron filings have finished delicately dancing and arranging themselves, it’s time to encourage your students to keenly observe and analyse the patterns they’ve created by completing each section of the worksheet provided in the download. They will need to record:
- Results – Students will complete a table to describe what they observed before, during and after the demonstration.
- Diagram – Students will draw and label a detailed diagram of what the iron filings looked like.
- Discussion – Students will use their knowledge of magnets, their poles, magnetic fields and magnetic objects to explain what they observed during the demonstration.
- Conclusion – Students will complete the sentences provided to explain what the demonstration taught them about magnetic flux lines.
The resource download provides a complete booklet with all the instructions and worksheets the students require to conduct this magnet experiment. The booklet downloads as a PDF, or should you wish your students to complete the worksheets electronically, a Google Slides version of these is also available.
This magnet experiment serves as an ideal introduction to the concept of magnetic fields, igniting students’ curiosity and fostering a deeper understanding of magnetism.
See Magnetic Fields at Work
This magnet experiment offers an excellent opportunity to teach students about magnetic fields and how they work. By engaging in this hands-on activity, students will:
- Visualise Magnetic Fields – The visual patterns formed by the iron filings help students visualise the usually invisible magnetic fields, making a complex concept more accessible.
- Concept Reinforcement – Students will solidify their understanding of how magnets exert influence and the spatial distribution of magnetic forces.
- Critical Thinking – This magnetic field experiment encourages critical thinking by asking students to predict and explain the observed patterns.
- Interactive Learning – Demonstrations such as this one transform a theoretical subject such as magnetism into an interactive and memorable experience for students.
Download This Magnet Experiment for Kids
As mentioned above, this magnet experiment downloads as either an easy-print PDF or an editable Google Slides version. Use the download button to access your preferred file format. (Note: You will be prompted to make a copy of the Google Slides template on your personal drive before accessing it.)
To save paper, you might like to project the instruction page on your interactive whiteboard and provide the student with the worksheet pages only. Please consider printing these double-sided – the environment will thank you for it!
More Great Resources on Magnetism
If you’re teaching magnetism to your students, you’ll be pleased to know that Teach Starter has many more student-centred, curriculum-aligned activities to engage and excite your students. Click below to start exploring!
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