Invisible Forces: Magnetism

This week's Family Friday will deepen your student's understanding of the invisible force of magnetism. In our Physical Science and Engineering series, your student will be introduced to important science concepts. Read our step-by-step guide on how you can test the strength of magnets and magnetism in this interactive activity!

What you need:

  • A magnet
  • A paperclip
  • A sheet of paper
  • A piece of cardboard
  • A book

Step 1

Open your Footsteps2Brilliance App, and go to Level 3 (Blue). In the Physical Science and Engineering series, read the book Invisible Forces: Magnetism with your student.

Step 2

Now we are going to test putting your magnet and the paperclip on opposite sides of a variety of objects. How thick can the object in the middle be? This will tell you how big the invisible magnetic field is:

  • If the magnet attracts the paperclip through the object, it means that the magnetic field is big enough to go through the object.
  • If the magnet cannot attract the paperclip through the object, it means that the magnetic field is too small to go through the object.

Step 3

Put your magnet and your paperclip on opposite sides of the sheet of paper.

Can the magnet attract the paperclip? If your magnet attracts the paperclip through the paper, then the magnetic field is bigger than the thickness of your paper.

Step 4

Put your magnet and your paperclip on opposite sides of the piece of cardboard.

Can the magnet attract the paperclip? If your magnet attracts the paperclip through the cardboard, then the magnetic field is bigger than the thickness of your cardboard.

Step 5

Put your magnet and your paperclip on opposite sides of your hand.

Can the magnet attract the paperclip? If your magnet attracts the paperclip through your hand, then the magnetic field is bigger than the thickness of your hand.

Step 5

Put your magnet and your paperclip on opposite sides of the book.

Can the magnet attract the paperclip? If your magnet attracts the paperclip through the book, then the magnetic field is bigger than the thickness of your book.

Try this with as many more objects as you like! How big is the magnetic field?

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