Magnetic Pendulum

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
Activity link broken? See if it's at the internet archive
In this activity about magnetism (page 15 of the PDF), learners will explore how opposite and similar magnetic poles affect a swinging (pendulum) magnet. Learners will see firsthand how gravity and magnetism can work together to create a chaotic system. This is an excellent activity for experimenting with different variables to see how they affect the overall movement of a magnet.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • ring stand or clamp
  • 4 to 6 magnets
  • fishing line


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • About Inquiry
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access