Have you ever played with magnets? If you have you know a good magnet project can be fun and make a cool science fair idea. It's bound to "attract" the judges to your project. So...
...let's play with magnets!
Time - Give yourself about one week to do this one.
1. Several different shape magnets
2. Aluminum (A soda can will work.)
3. Brass (Try a lamp or bedpost.)
4. Copper (Not pennies! Some decorations are made of this metal.)
5. Gold (Jewelry will work if it is pure gold.)
6. Iron (Try a cast-iron skillet.)
7. Silver (Jewelry works.)
8. Lead (Fishing sinkers are made of lead.)
9. Stainless steel (Baking pans or spoons work well.)
11. Cardboard for display (order here from Amazon)
14. Computer (optional)
We should start by asking questions. This is very important in science. And this magnet project is no different. So...
...let's ask some questions about magnets and metals.
Here are some questions to get you started. These aren't the most important questions, though. We'll ask that one later.
See if you can add to this list for this magnet project.
What do magnets stick to?
What do we us magnets for?
Why don't they stick to wood or plastic?
Try to answer these as best you can. Some you will need to research these questions on the internet or find out from a book at your local library. Make sure to ask your parents before you do these things. They'll want to know how your magnet project is going.
We ask the most important question...
Are all metals magnetic?
This is a good question because we can try it out at home. But don't try it yet. We need to answer our important question first!
Let's do that now.
What do you think the answer is to your important question?
Write it down on a piece of paper. Don't change it until you see what the magnets do first. We call this guess our hypothesis.
Now it's time to get the stuff from the list above. Let's move to the next step.
Now comes the fun part...
...try out those magnets! Take each kind of metal that you've collected and try the magnet on each one. Make sure to use the magnets on each kind of metal under the same conditions (such as all at the same room temperature.) Here's what it should look like...
Write down what happens on a chart something like this...
Don't forget to take lots of pictures of this part. Pictures show you did your own work.
It would be good to try each metal three times to make sure you didn't do something the first time that made the magnets not work correctly.
...let's make the chart look good!
You might want to rewrite your chart neatly. You will want to use it later for your display.
It's time to tell what you've noticed. Write a report about what you saw.
You should include...
1. What you guessed about the magnets.
2. What you did with the magnets.
3. Which metals are magnetic and which ones aren't.
4. If your guess was correct about the metals and magnets.
Be careful to obey all the school rules for your science fair report. One or two paragraphs per grade level will do if you weren't given how long it should be.
Now you get to make the display!
Carefully put three pieces of cardboard together so it looks like this...
If you want more information about displays click here.
You can also buy displays at many retail stores that work well with your magnet project. However you do it, make sure you follow science fair rules!
Now, on a piece of paper neatly write your important question and your hypothesis (guess.) If you would like, type it. You might get style points!
Now, just like you did your important question, write (or type) your supply list on a separate piece of paper.
Paste your guess, supply list and report onto your display board along with any pictures you might have taken. Make sure you label each so the judges know what is what. Making sure everything looks good is important!
If you want to get some ideas for your display we have some examples for you. Just
click here for examples of displays that may work well with your magnet project.
Try playing with some of the display ideas you see. You don't have to use the exact ones we use. Make them fun! Be creative!
And don't forget to name your project at the top of the display board. You may want to use your important question as the title. You may want to purchase stencils to make cutouts of letters. Or you may purchase already made letters at many retail stores.
Whatever you do, have fun with your magnet project!