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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Electromagnets


What do these two pictures have in common? We found out this week when our favorite scientist stopped by for a visit...

If cheers suddenly erupt from my students, I don't need to look up to see who is entering the room. It must be Mr. Bailey, district science specialist. Within moments of Mr. Bailey wheeling his cart into the room, students' desks are cleared, pencils are poised, heads are at attention and we are ready for science!

During his visit this week Mr. Bailey taught us all about electromagnets. Electromagnets are a type of magnet in which the magnetic flow is produced by an electrical current. The magnet can by turned on or off by controlling the flow of electricity to the magnet. Electromagnets are used in many devices, from wrecking yard machines to toasters to speakers to doorbells.

Students watched Mr. Bailey demonstrate building an electromagnet with a battery, some copper wire and a nail (observing phenomena).


After discussing in their groups, students chose a variable to test with their own electromagnet (developing a question).

After making a scientific guess based on watching Mr. Bailey's electromagnet (hypothesis), students created their electromagnet following directions from Mr. Bailey (procedure) and tested their variable by counting the number of paper clips their electromagnets could pick up (collecting data).



 

After running the tests, students made a conclusion about what happened using the information on electromagnets and how they work (analyzing and interpreting the results). Before we knew it we had gone through the scientific inquiry process!



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