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In this activity about magnetism (page seven of the pdf), learners experiment with magnets to better understand how magnetic fields work. More importantly, they learn that Earth is surrounded by its own magnetic field, and how this magnetic field helps protect us from potentially harmful solar activity.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 8

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Strong polarity bar magnet
  • Plastic wrap/Contact paper
  • Iron Filings
  • Plastic salad tray or Aluminum tray
  • Spoons
  • Straws
  • Safety goggles
  • Worksheet - Part of given activity
  • A small button


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, COSI Columbus, 2009