Create a Compass

Create a Compass (3)

This quick hands-on experience lets kids make their own compass with just a few household objects!

Cut a circle from a piece of craft foam, just a bit bigger than a paper clip. Set aside.

Create a Compass (1)

Rub a metal paperclip with a magnet about 20 times, being sure to scrape in the same direction each time. Travis proudly counted this out! This step will charge your paper clip with a magnetic charge.

Create a Compass (2)

Tape the paper clip to the foam circle, then place in a dish of shallow water. You’ll notice it wobble at first as the water settles, but slowly it will come to point true north. Test it against a real compass for the official results. Getting there…

Create a Compass (4)

….North!

Create a Compass (5)

Travis was thrilled this worked, all the more so because it stayed oriented north even hours after we left the dish on the windowsill. A simple but great way to show off the pull of magnetism.

 

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