Students explore and apply basic scientific principles related to electricity and electrical current. Students explore magnets and use magnets to explore magnetic fields. Students use magnets to generate an electric current. Students use a multimeter to measure current, resistance, and voltage. Equipment includes magnets, multimeters, a maglev track, and wire cutters.
Lesson 1 – Magnetism Basics
Students learn what magnets are and a brief history of electromagnetic theory. Students also learn what a magnetic field is and its relationship to the movement of electrons. Students write a research report on the history of magnetism.
Lesson 2 – Magnetic Materials
Students learn what occurs on an atomic level that makes some materials magnetic. They also learn about diamagnetism, paramagnetism, and ferromagnetism. They perform a hands-on activity to determine whether classroom items are diamagnetic, paramagnetic, or ferromagnetic.
Lesson 3 – Magnetic Fields and Poles
Students learn more about magnetic fields as well as learn about magnetic lines of flux and magnetic poles. They perform an activity which enables them to observe the magnetic lines of flux of bar magnets.
Lesson 4 – Magnetic Earth
Students learn that the Earth has a magnetic field surrounding it and about the magnetosphere. They also perform experiments with a maglev track.
Lesson 5 – Permanent and Temporary Magnets
Students learn about permanent and temporary magnets and what types of materials are used to make them. They also learn about procedures that can make permanent and temporary magnets. They then make their own electromagnet.
Lesson 6 – Electric Generators and Motors
Students learn how electricity and magnetism work together in electric generators and motors. Students write a research report about careers that involve magnetism.