Science Projects for Kids: Magnets and Metal
Choose a Compass to Make
Make a compass, and you'll always know which direction you're headed. You can make a floating compass or a Chinese hanging compass -- or both!
What You'll Need:
- 2 needles (one for each compass)
- Straight pin
- 2 clear plastic cups (one for each compass)
Magnetized Needle for Both Compasses
Step 1: Rub the pointed end of the needle along one side of the magnet, always rubbing in the same direction. Do this about 30 times to magnetize the needle.
Step 2: Test the magnetized needle by trying to pick up the straight pin with it. If you can pick up the pin, the needle is ready.
Step 3: If you will be making both compasses, repeat the process with the other needle.
Step 1: Cut a small piece of cork, and push the magnetized needle through it.
Step 2: Fill a plastic cup with water.
Step 3: Carefully place the cork with the magnetized needle into the cup so the cork floats in the center. The magnetized end will always face north.
Chinese Hanging Compass
Step 1: Tie an end of a short piece of thread to the center of the magnetized needle.
Step 2: Tie the other end of the thread to a pencil.
Step 3: Place the pencil over the rim of the plastic cup. Again, the magnetized end of the needle will point north.