Magnet Powered Pinwheel

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Learners use the current flowing in a wire to create a magnetic field that turns a magnet. Learners can use this property of electromagnetism to build a magnet-powered pinwheel. This is one of four activities learners can complete related to PhysicsQuest 2008. Each activity gives a clue to solve a puzzle in the accompanying comic book, "Nikola Tesla and the Electric Fair."

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • Electric Motors
      • Electric Circuits
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Literature


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • American Physical Society


  • All rights reserved, American Physical Society, 2009