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...magnets & magnetism...








Magnets.  Pretty rad.



• Know that magnets only affect magnetic materials.



• Be able to give examples of common magnetic materials.



• Be able to describe how magnets can be arranged to attract or repel.











Task 1 - Starter





Think hard!



Looking good!





Discuss in pairs or threes:



What do you know about magnets?



Think about...


1) What is a magnet?


2) What are magnets used for?


3) What materials are magnetic?


4) How do magnets behave around each other?





Your teacher will ask you to share your ideas with the class, and may write some of your ideas, suggestions, and comments on the board.











Task 2 - Magnets & Fields




The magnetic field around a bar magnet.



Your teacher will show you a range of demonstrations, including...




• magnets attracting and repelling.


• magnets near a range of materials.


showing magnetic fields using iron filings.


• magnets affecting a compass needle.


magnetometers being used to show magnetic fields.





Your teacher may also show you some of the simulations below, to help you understand these ideas.  Teacher notes will be available here, at some point...







Simulations - magnetism basics





Which materials are magnetic?





What happens when you cut a magnet in half?





Flash technology! 






Simulation - magnetic fields



This simulation shows what the field around a bar magnet looks like.





Click the image to load the simulation.


Thanks to PhET for this awesome simulation :)




Java technology!












Task 3 - Fill in the missing words




A bar magnet.




1) Complete the text below by filling in the missing words.



2) finish the table to show how different combinations of poles affect each other.



Click here to download the worksheet (foundation).

Higher tier version coming soon!







Complete the text






Magnets _______ affect magnetic materials.  These include _______, steel, _______ and cobalt.  The area around is filled with a magnetic __________; any magnetic materials in this area will experience a ________.




The ends of a magnet are called ________.  One end of the magnet is a _______ pole, and the other is a ________ pole.  __________ poles will attract, but similar poles will _______.






Use some of the keywords below.

force     cannot     only     attract     repel     iron     copper     nickel     aluminium     field     line     opposite     similar     retract     detract     pole     poles     north     south




Click here to download this task as a word document.






Finish the table






Combination of poles

Attract or repel?

north and north


south and south


north and south





Click here to download this task as a word document.









Task 4 - The Earth's magnetic field



Think hard!

Which way do we go?

Are we there yet?!



You can make a simple compass by suspending a bar magnet from a piece of cotton.




Your teacher will show you how, and will explain how the earth's magnetic field is both similar and different to the field around a bar magnet.







The Earth's magnetic field.






The Earth's field gets deformed by the sun's magnetic field.
















Think hard!




Find out about:




• At least three uses of magnets


• What ferromagnetic materials are


• What hard magnetic materials are


• What soft magnetic materials are





Present the information you find on a typed side of A4, including images to illustrate your ideas.




The homework task will be available here as a word document, at some point.