In this activity, students study the shape and strength of the magnetic field of a bar magnet and construct an electromagnet. Students first hypothesize what a magnetic field looks like around a bar magnet and then test their hypotheses by mapping the magnetic field using iron fillings and a compass. Additionally, students will also construct an electromagnet and test different ways to change its strength.
1. Draw the magnetic field of a bar magnet
2. Distinguish between permanent magnets and electromagnets
3. Describe the factors that affect the magnetic strength of an electromagnet
4. Identify electrical devices that are electromagnets
Lesson Materials (view or download)
electromagnet, permanent magnet, magnetic field
Last updated: 3/4/2015