Monday, June 15, 2009

Magnet Work Mostly for Younger Students + Repaired Link

On an especially hot afternoon, I filled two buckets with water. I then tied string to two rulers (they already had holes in them). At the end of the strings I tied and taped large magnets. I then gathered several items from the magnetic/non-magnetic work that is always available in my classroom.

I gathered my students around the two buckets of water and asked them the following question: "Does a magnetic work underwater?" Two thirds of my students answered, "No." I was glad that this work would surprise them and maintain their interest.

I showed them how to hold the magnet/fishing pole and how to lower the magnet into the water. When the magnet picked up the first object I drew it out of the water to show them.

"Oh, the magnet does work in water, Miss Dyer. Can I go fishing next?" asked one of my students and then another. Two my students quickly put on their aprons and then lowered their "fishing poles."

I was glad that my younger students enjoyed this simple science exercise so much. I had my assistant keep the older students busy on the other side of the playground so that the four years wouldn't have to hear, "That's so easy!" from the tribe of 5 and 6 year olds. I have something more challenging for them planned.

We are going to take magnets and pick up meteorite dust that falls from the sky. The activity, which I found scanning a NASA website, is done by holding a magnet inside a baggie turned inside out and running it across the ground - specifically in areas where the gutters run off. I have done this many times and am always surpised to see how much meteorite dust we gather.

Below is a great web page with good photos (down several pages) and a worksheet on collecting meteorite dust. Try this - it is great fun.

Collecting Meteorite Dust


Tess said...

Have you seen the la paz post about this article? It is very complimentary :)

Susan Y. Dyer said...

no...but thanks for letting me know...

Susan Dyer
The Moveable Alphabet