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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Students will also measure the distance a paper clip will move toward a magnet and then add magnets to see if the distance is affected. The distance that is observed represents the extent of the magnetic force; however, the magnetic force may extend beyond what is observed. Factors such as friction may affect the observations.
Students will finally investigate the effectiveness of magnetic force through materials of varying thicknesses. A magnet’s force acts through space, and certain materials appear to be relatively transparent to a magnetic field.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Begin this activity by demonstrating the “flying” paper clip (Attach a paper clip to a 12-18 inch piece of fishing line and tape one end to the desk. Pass a high powered magnet near it and pull it upward); or the “floating” magnet (Place several disk magnets on a dowel or pencil so that each is repelled from the one next to it); or allow the students to play with an Etch-A-Sketch™ or a Magna Doodle™ or any other magnet-type game.
This is a three-part discovery activity. The activities do not need to be completed in sequential order. The activity works better when completed with partners or in small groups of three to four; each person will record on their own paper.
Jacobs, Struan,. (2001). Limits to problem solving in science. EBSCO Publishing. Retrieved November 22, 2005.
Classroom environments that provide opportunities for small groups of children to work together to solve problems tend to foster the development of problem-solving skills. Students should be given problems to consider and through the process of problem solving, thinking skills can be developed. Even though research shows that students should have these opportunities, these strategies are not being used in the majority of elementary and secondary classrooms.
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