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Gardiners Ave. Elementary School

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Third Graders Create an Electromagnet

January 07, 2019

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Third graders at Gardiners Ave have spent the last month learning about forces and interactions. They have learned how a push or pull force will make the forces acting on an object unbalanced and move. As the unit delved deeper, the students saw how magnets and electricity are forces that act on objects from a distance. The unit included several hands-on activities. One of the hands-on activities had the students working with a partner to time the movement of a Matchbox car on a track using either a strong or weak push. The unit wrapped up with a group demonstration to create an electromagnet. Together, the class talked about how to construct an electromagnet with a battery, wire, and a steel nail. We examined how the nail became magnetized when the electricity flowed through the coils of wire on the nail. We predicted what would happen if we added more batteries to the circuit or more coils of wire on the nail (both increased the magnetism!). It was a great unit exploring why and how things move around us!

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