Exploring a 3D space
Classroom Activity for 11-14
What the Activity is for
You can use this activity to explore the magnetic field in the region of space all around that magnet.
What to Prepare
Per working group:
- a bar magnet with the poles at the ends
- a slab magnet with the poles on the faces
- a small gimballed bar magnet free to spin in all 3 planes (a probe)
What Happens During this Activity
Pupils hold the bar magnet in one hand and trace out the magnetic field. You'll have to model this for them.
Teacher: Starting from next to the magnet move the probe in the direction it is pointing. Keep going. If I do it really carefully, and not exploring the space too far from the magnet, I always come back to the magnet.
You might ask them to close their eyes and visualise all the lines they have just traced out, or even have a wire and cardboard box model of it, but it would be an act of cruelty to ask them to represent this on paper.