Magnetic Experiment

Conversations about the North Pole and our favorite winter movie The Polar Express has got me looking into these magnetic experiments! Did you know that magnets (yes, the ones you have on your refrigerator!) have north and south magnetic poles that attract and repel other magnets? Follow us and watch your magnets go!

  1. Ages: 9 - 16

  2. 30 minutes - 1 hour

  3. A little messy

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Start by creating a pyramid shaped base out of dowels for your magnetic experiment. Paint each dowel a different color to make your pyramid colorful! Wait for them to dry before you move on to the next step.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Create the base of the pyramid by overlapping three dowels and securing a rubber band around each overlapping end.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Connect three more dowels to form the pyramid.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Tip

    Secure each dowel end to the corners of the base first. Then, tie the three dowels together at the top to create a pyramid shape.

  • Step 4

    Tie string connecting the circular magnet to the top of the pyramid. Secure the magnet to the string with clear tape.

    Now that your structure is built, let's experiment with the rectangular magnets!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Experiment 1: Place three magnets at the center points of each dowel at the base. Gently lift and release the circular magnet to watch it go! It will bounce back and forth between the three magnetic fields as it encounters different polarities. Magnets have a north pole and south pole - it can attract as well as repel other magnets!

    See what happens when you move around the rectangular magnets! How will the circular magnet swing?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    Experiment 2: Have you ever wanted to have super powers that enabled you to move something without touching it? Well here is your chance!

    Magnets have a strong, attractive force when a north and south pole are close to each other. Place a rectangular magnet under your suspended circular magnet. Make sure the circular magnet will attract the rectangular magnet. If the circular and rectangular magnets are too far apart, adjust the hanging circular magnet. Gently move the rectangular magnet(s) around and watch your circular magnet follow!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Done!

    Experiment 3: Give your magnet the shivers by placing 1-2 rectangular magnet(s) under the suspended circular magnet. Make sure the top of the rectangular magnet facing up and the bottom of the circular magnet repels each other. Gently lift the circular magnet to release it from its magnetic field and let it swing! It will quickly be caught right back in its magnetic field as it moves towards the rectangular magnet(s).

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

Share what you made & tag us at!