Quick summary: In this experiment students make an electromagnet using some wire, a nail and a small battery.
These Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!
Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.
Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.
Year 2 Science
- A push or a pull affects how an object moves or changes shape (ACSSU033)
Year 4 Science
- Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (ACSSU076)
Syllabus Outcomes: ST1-7PW, ST2-7PW.
Time required: 10 – 15 minutes.
Resources required: 2-3 feet of ball wire (copper wire with a plastic insulated sheathing), large nail, C or D battery, small metal objects (paper clips, thumbtacks, safety pins etc.), scissors (or a wire stripping tool), sticky tape.
Safety advice: Ensure students don’t touch the exposed wire once the wire is attached to the battery. The exposed wire will get very hot. And NEVER get the wires of the electromagnet near at household outlet!
Keywords: Magnet, electromagnet, wire, nail.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.