Friday, October 7, 2016

Mystery Science: What Can Magnets Do?

This week, we continued our exploration of magnets through our first Mystery Science experience! Mystery Science is a great classroom resource that leads us through some of the "mysteries" of science with inquiry-based questions and explorations connected to our Next Generation Science Standards. This was our first time using Mystery Science, and we loved every minute we spent exploring the question: 

What Can Magnets Do?

We used our Science Talk norms to discuss our question, and after watching the first Mystery Science video, we got to work exploring! 

we figured out how to use magnets to make a paperclip float

We also figured out how to "magnetize" other objects so they became magnets themselves!

While we explored, we wrote about our thinking and drew pictures of our explorations to keep in our Science Folders

Mr. Fosher even joined us for some magnet fun!

Did you know magnets can even make other magnets float?

After our exploration, we watched the rest of our Mystery Science videos to learn more about what we experienced during our exploration. We noticed that not all metal objects are magnetic, and we learned from the video that metal objects that are magnetic contain iron, and metals that are not magnetic do not. We also learned that only opposite poles of a magnet are attracted to each other, and same poles will repel one another. 

We learned that engineers used the science of repelling magnets to create a train (called a maglev train) that floats along guideways instead of running on a track, creating a friction-less (and VERY fast!) ride. We brainstormed a list of things we could try to invent or create using magnets, and on Friday we broke up into 3 groups to try out our ideas:

Magnetic Paperclip Racetrack

Magnetic Towers

Magnetic Train Model

We were each able to choose one idea we wanted to explore, and we had a 30 minutes to come up with a plan and try it out using the materials we had in our classroom. 

The Magnetic Paperclip Racetrack was made using poster board that we drew a racetrack on. We made the paperclips race around the track by pulling magnets underneath the poster board to guide the paperclip around the track. 

To make our towers, we tested objects around the room to see which objects could be magnetized (objects with iron in them) and we used the largest magnetized items to make our tower and some cool magnetized designs!

For our version of a magnet train, we made a model of a small train connected to 2 magnets and a track. Without touching the train, we used repelling magnets to push the magnet train across the track. 

It was so cool to check out each other's work and think of more ideas for creating with magnets. While we are now finished with our exploration of magnets in the classroom, I hope the giraffes will continue to create new magnet inventions at home and during our choice times! 

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