Investigating Magnetic Force
Our 3rd grade students have been especially “attracted” to the science labs in class lately ~ perhaps because they are currently studying magnetism. Recent student experiments included measurements of force between two magnets. Working in groups, students tested how many washers it takes to “break the force” of two magnets that are separated by a plastic cup. Following these measurements, students retested the strength of magnetic force when adding 1-6 plastic spacers between the magnets. Students were asked to use real data from their experiments to make predictions, then test their predictions to see how accurate they were. The lesson also included the use of data tables and graphs, emphasizing accurate labeling as well as documenting and discussion of the test results. Students really enjoy these hands-on learning opportunities, working cooperatively to understand the mysteries and wonder of the world God made.