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Magnetic Spinner & Compass


Source Institutions

    Community Science Workshop Network

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Magnetic Spinner & Compass

Learners use shop tools and various materials to construct a magnetic spinner and a compass. Learners blow on the spinner directly or through a straw, and will be amazed as it continues to spin, appearing as if it's levitating. Learners can also use the compass to follow or take a bearing. Use this activity to introduce learners to magnets, magnetic fields, friction, and magnetic levitation.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per student

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per student)


  • 1 Baseboard, at least 8" x 3", 1/2" thick
  • 2 Magnets, block: 1" x 3/4", 3/16" thick works well
  • 1 Magnet, ring: 3/4" diameter, 3/16" thick, 1/4" hole in center works well
  • 12" Dowel, 1/4"
  • 1/2 Paint paddle
  • 1 Film can base or lid with large divot
  • Color wheel
  • Straw
  • 1 Small base board
  • 8" Dowel, 1/4" diameter
  • Wire, stiff
  • Compass face copy
  • Straw
  • String
  • Drill
  • Drill platform
  • 15/64" drill bit
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Masking tape
  • Markers
  • Real compass for comparison
  • Hacksaw
  • Knife

Subjects


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
    • Technology
      • Information and Communication
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • Earth's Magnetic Field
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process

Informal Categories


  • Arts and Crafts
  • Toys

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Watsonville Environmental Science Workshop, ©2011

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