After learning about early navigation methods, we followed in the footsteps of the Chinese explorers and investigated magnetic materials before making our own magnets.
Our investigations began with predicting which materials would be attracted or repelled by a magnet. During our experiment, we tested a number of different materials and objects such as:
- Glass Marbles
- Metal and plastic coated paperclips
- Wooden DT wheels
- Metal Weights
- Bulldog clips
After each test, we recorded our results. Can we remember why some metal objects did not attract the magnet?
We have also learnt about the earth's magnetic forces and the fields at each of the poles. The geographic North and South Poles are called this because the Earth acts like a giant bar magnet – with molten iron at its core. Which poles attract each other?
In the next lesson we put our knowledge about magnetism to work by making our own compasses. When we placed the magnet on the pieces of wood in the water and watched as they were attracted to the opposite pole. This was extremely successful for Kestrels but Skylarks were more unlucky. Instead, we placed a leaf in a full cup of water and topped it with a magnetised needle. We checked that the leaf had been attracted to the correct pole by using the compass on Miss Seymour's phone.
To finish our Science learning this term, we linked our compass investigations to facts about early navigation methods and previous versions of compasses.
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