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Dancing Compasses

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    American Physical Society

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Dancing Compasses

Learners use compasses to detect the magnetic field created by current moving through a wire. 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:
45 to 60 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 11 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electromagnetic Fields
      • 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


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  • Thumbnail SAI II by rmerton on 2012-06-28