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Forces and Magnets Week 4

How Magnets Work

Last week you were asked to explore different materials with a magnet such as a fridge magnet so that you could group materials into those that were magnetic and those that were non-magnetic. Lots of materials would have been easy to sort such as wood, fabric, plastic, wool, stone, glass which are all non-magnetic.


However, you may have found it more tricky when you were investigating metal. Your investigation may have shown you that everything you tested that was made of metal was magnetic depending on what you tested. If you tried a food or drink can or some pipes you may have found that these were not magnetic.


This is because magnetic materials are always made of metal but not all metals are magnetic. Iron is magnetic as is a metal which contains iron such as steel. Other metals which are attracted to magnets are nickel (found in coins, zips and belt buckles) and cobalt (found in batteries).


Most metals are not attracted to magnets and this includes copper, aluminium, silver, gold and platinum. 


This week we are looking further at how magnets work - this time in relation to each other and we are looking at whether they attract or repel each other. This will help us understand the poles of a magnet. Repel means the magnets push apart and as much as you try to push them together you can feel an invisible force pushing them apart.


You may not have bar magnets at home but I discovered the tiny magnets in the magnetic letters my children had when they were little and discovered with these tiny magnets I could still see which ends were attracted to each other and which ones repelled each other.


I hope the clips will help demonstrate it too.


Have fun investigating.

Magnets - this will open as a download

Use your findings to fill in the missing words on the first page

Aspiration, Inspiration, Motivation, Aim High