Build an Electromagnet

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In this activity, learners will build a simple electromagnet. They will test variables that would make the electromagnet stronger. Activity can be completed with supplies that may be found around the house or at the local hardware store. Parental supervision required.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • 1 meter-long thin wire with ends stripped
  • 1 iron or galvanized iron nail
  • Battery holder with two AA batteries
  • Wires with alligator clips
  • 10 to 20 paperclips


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism


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This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • COSI Connects


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