Ways & How

how to make a magnet

how to make a magnet

Magnets are a source of boundless fascination for children, and are a fun way to keep them occupied while throwing in a bit of a science lesson at the same time. If the kiddos are getting stir-crazy and must keep moving around even while watching TV, keeping their hands occupied might get them to settle down: teach them how to make a magnet. It might also be a good science project for them. Magnets are quite easy to make, and children will have endless fun with them. However, it would be prudent to warn them not to use the magnets on computers, cameras, watches, TV, or on anything with electronic parts. If the magnet isn’t strong enough, there will probably be no ill effects, but it’s better to be safe and careful. So let's go on to the instructions!

  1. Gather your materials. To make a magnet, you need a magnet, some metallic objects that are attracted to magnets, and your own hands and arms. You can use the magnets from a broken speaker, generator, or transistor, or you can even use a refrigerator magnet.

    or the metallic objects to magnetize, you can use nails, paper clips, needles (but not advisable for little ones), forks, spoons, metallic chopsticks, or any other small metallic items that are attracted to magnets. However, the strength of the magnetic pull will depend on the strength of the original magnet. So find a big and strong magnet if you want to magnetize stuff like spoons, forks, or nails. Refrigerator magnets will work well on needles, paper clips, safety pins.

  2. Start stroking. You will need to stroke your magnet over the item you want to magnetize. Do this quickly and repeatedly, as if striking a match, and always moving in the same direction. Depending on the strength of your original magnet, this can take three or more minutes.

  3. Test it out. Periodically check the magnetic pull you created by putting the magnetized object near other metallic objects. If your object attracts other metallic objects that have not been magnetized, then you’re done. You can continue the stroking process to make the pull a bit stronger.

You can also make a magnet using electricity, otherwise known as electromagnet. You will need more materials this time.
  1. Gather your materials. This time, you will need a 1.5-volt D-cell battery, a 3-inch nail, a length of wire about six feet long, vinyl electrical tape and some paper clips.

  2. Make your magnet. Leave a strip of wire about two inches long. Wrap the wire in tight coils around the nail. The more wire you use and the thicker it gets, the stronger the force of the magnetic field. Using the vinyl electrical tape, take one end of the wire and tape it to the negative side of the battery. Tape the other end to the positive side. Make sure the wire touches both points of the battery securely.

  3. Use it. Touch your electromagnet to the paper clips and watch it do its magnet “magic.” The magnetic pull will not last very long as the battery life will be depleted quickly. Be careful because the wire can get hot.

You will find that doing this is not hard once you get the hang of how to make a magnet. You may find out pretty fast that making magnets can be quite “attractive.”


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