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Alpha science classroom:How to DIY a simple compass

Views: 5     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2020-12-18      Origin: Site

The compass is one of the greatest inventions of human beings. It has brought a lot of help to human beings. So how much do children know about the principle of the compass? Today, Alpha Science Classroom continues its Christmas break with kids for a fun-filled science experiment for kids, made a simple compass, and discovering the magic of the physical sciences is a great way to inspire children and teach them perseverance and imagination.


Alpha Science Classroom: Materials needed for DIY compass

  • Sewing Needle (go with fairly large sewing needles so it is easy for little hands to hold them)

  • Magnets (the stronger the better)

  • Cork (other options may work if you don’t have a cork,)

  • A medium to large-sized bowl

  • Water

  • Pliers

Alpha Science Classroom Tip: Do not do this activity with any children who put things in their mouths. Swallowing magnets is extremely dangerous. Needle tip. Make sure you have proper adult supervision and your child is old enough to be safe.

Alpha Science Classroom: DIY Compass Method

Step 1: Kids Hold the needle, and take your magnet, and stroke it down the length of your needle 50 times. If you are using a weaker magnet you may need to do this more than 50 times. But for most good quality magnets 50 should be about right.

Step 2: Magnetize the other end with the reverse

Now, this is very important, take note of which side of the magnet you were using. Flip the needle around so you are holding the other end, and flip over the magnet so you are using the other side of the magnet. Now repeat on the non-magnetized end of the needle.

Step 3: Prepare the cork

Cut a cork so it is about 1 to 2 cm thick.

Step 4: Insert the needle

Carefully push the needle through the cork. This is best done by an adult with a pair of pliers. I found it easiest if I used a thumbtack to start the hole, then pushed the needle through. You want the cork to be centered on the needle.

Step 5: Fill a bowl with water

Set out your bowl and fill it with a few inches of water.

Step 6: Test the compass!

Place your cork and needle in the water and see how it moves. It should align itself so it points North.


Alpha science classroom:How A Homemade Compass Works

Alpha classroom tells kids Magnetism can be seen in action whenever you have two magnets close together. Magnets have a positive and negative side. This causes them to either push against one another or is pulled together. Two positive sides will repeal each other causing the magnets to push apart. But Flip one magnet over so you have a positive and a negative near each other and they will attract each other.

For almost 1000 years people have been using magnetism to help them navigate the globe. Magnetism can help people navigate because the Earth has its own magnetic field. Compasses use a small magnetized bar or needle that points a certain direction (north or south) based on its reaction to Earth’s magnetic field.

When we rubbed the magnet against the sewing needle, it magnetized the needle. This means it becomes a weak, temporary magnet. Because magnets interact with one another, either attracting or repelling, the magnetized needle can interact with the Earth’s magnetic field. We use the bowl of water because Earth’s magnetic field is relatively weak. Allowing it to float freely on the water, allows the magnetized needle to freely react to Earth’s magnetic field, causing it to align North to South. If you watched closely, the same end of the needle should always point to the North.

Pretty cool, eh? No wonder Einstein was so fascinated by these invisible forces!

Well, today is the end of the children's Physical Science experiments in Alpha Science Classroom. Let's explore the mysteries of physical science knowledge together with parents!

Make your own compass and find out the directions of north and south so that children won't get lost while out and about!


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Address: West Of Bei Hean Road, Muye District,
 Xin xiangCity,He Nan Province,China,Post Code 453000