Scientific Kids Crafts: How to make make a magnetic boat

GROUP: Pre-K +
TIME: Less than 30 Minutes

This was a craft + an experiment on magnetism.

A magnet is a metal that can pull pieces of iron toward itself. Magnets attract iron objects because they create an invisible atmosphere around themselves. This atmosphere is called a magnetic field. When items made out of iron are in this atmosphere they get pulled in by the magnet.

Letís take for example the paper clip I used in this show. Ordinarily the atoms in the paperclip are scattered away, but when the paper clip enters the field created by the magnet, its positive atoms start to point in one direction while its negative atoms would point in the other. Now what happened in our little experiment is easy to explain, as more and more atoms get aligned within the paper clip, the atoms on the negative end get attracted by the atoms on the positive end since opposite poles on elements attract each other.

The boat moved due to the attraction between the magnet and the paper clip. I selected water as an element since water is a medium with less friction than a hard surface and the paperclip was attached to the boat so the paper clip carried the boat moved.

Why didnít the boat sink? The Popsicle sticks are made out of wood and wood floats on water due to its lighter density. The key to the boat floating is the wood + the positioning of the sail on it. it was placed in the center.

A little known fact by children: The biggest magnet on earth is the earth itself. Itís core is made out of iron and hot nickel and so it attracts everything towards itself. Hence we have the laws of gravity. Pretty cool, isnít it?

  • A small triangular piece of foami
  • 1 magnet
  • 1 recycled skewer stick
  • 1 recycled Popsicle stick
  • 1 bead
  • Hot glue gun
  • 1 metal paper clip

  • First attached the toothpick to the bead
  • Glue in the triangle to the toothpick
  • Cut about 1/4 of the Popsicle stick
  • Attach the veil middle to the Popsicle stick
  • Attach the paper clip to the boat
  • Now to prepare our magnetic rod.
  • Attach the magnet to the skewer stick
  • And let us test the boat!
  • Place your boat on the water and
  • wave the wand around and your boat should move.
  • What makes the boat move is the attraction between the magnet and the
  • paper clip. Enjoy!


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