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Science - 5th Grade
Standard 3 Objective 1
1 class periods of 30 minutes each
Students move objects in glasses filled with water by placing magnets on the outside and using a nail-magnet system.
For the Teacher:
For the Student: (individual or small group)
Magnetic fields pass through water and will attract objects containing iron, steel, nickel, or cobalt in the water, provided the magnet is strong enough to attract the objects across the distance from the outside of the glass container to the objects.
Test the variable of the thickness of the glass container first by demonstrating the magnetic attraction through an empty glass before testing the attraction through water.
This investigation is intended to show that magnetic fields can also pass through an iron nail and turn the nail into a temporary magnet when a strong magnet is touching the head of the nail.
Experiment with the nail-magnet system by picking up small paper clips outside the water container before picking up objects in the water.
As you or your pupils remove objects attracted by the nail-magnet system, you may discover that the magnet will lift more under water than in the air. The water supports the objects in a way that air cannot. For this reason, you may remove objects you are experimenting with at the water's surface much as a fisherman would net a fish.
Have each student demonstrate his or her ability to remove an object from a glass of water using a magnet and a nail-magnet system.