Using the Force.... The Magnetic Force!

Students using magnets to make a spoon spin without touching it!

How can a train float? That’s something Mrs. Paluch’s third graders have been trying to answer. Students have taken on the role of engineers. They need to explain the floating train and how it works to the city of Faraday. As the students investigated different forces, they were tasked with making objects move without touching them! At first, students were confused when Mrs. Paluch told them directions but soon, objects were moving across desks and tables without another object touching it. Students were even making metal spoons spin without touching them! Magic? Nope, just magnetic force! During the lesson, you could hear students saying “This is so cool!”They were even calling over Mrs. Paluch to show her some of the ways they were using magnetic forces. By the end of the lesson, the class came to the conclusion that the floating train must involve magnets, but they still need to do more investigating to fully understand the train. These hands on activities really put students in the drivers seat and allow them to ask questions and solve problems like a real world scientist.


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