So I'll be belatedly "celebrating" Engineers Week this week by visiting my daughter's elementary school class and talking about electricity. My presentation is titled, "Watt is Electricity?" Get it?
I made a little electromagnet kit for each student. All I did was wind about four feet of solid 22 gauge copper wire around a nail. I placed this in a bag with a D battery, some paper clips and a sheet of paper with this text:
Electromagnet Test Kit
When electrical current flows through a wire, a magnetic field develops around the wire. By winding the wire into a tight coil around an iron core, the magnetic flux is concentrated, and the magnetic attraction is strong.
- 4’ 22 AWG Solid Insulated Copper Wire
- Steel Nail
- D Battery (1.5V)
- Paperclips (to test electromagnet)
Touch the bare wire ends to the battery terminals.
Watch Out – it gets HOT.
How many paper clips can you pick up?
What do you think would happen if:
- You unwrapped some of the wire?
- You used a 9V or 12V battery?
- You wrapped the wire around a pencil?
Science Links for Kids
Those links are pretty cool. Check them out when you get a chance!