Take Me to the (Magnet) Races

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In this activity about magnetism (page 11 of the pdf), learners will experiment with magnets to explore how opposite poles attract and similar poles repel in magnetism. Then, learners figure out how to make toy cars move without touching them and race against each other.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

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

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Game


Materials List (per group of students)

  • A variety of magnetic and non-magnetic objects (rubber bands, pennies, paper clips, screws, small magnets, tacks, popsicle sticks, etc)
  • Small matchbox- or hot wheels–type cars (one for each group)
  • 2 Donut Magnets
  • 4 Rubber bands
  • Bar Magnets (2 total)
  • Masking tape (To make race track)


  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electromagnetic Fields
    • Energy
      • Energy and Power
    • Motion and Forces


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • 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