Unit 11: Magnetism


Did you know that if you cut a magnet in half to try to separate the north from the south pole, you’ll wind up with two magnets, each with their own north and south poles? Turns out that the poles are impossible to separate! Now that you’ve spent a few lessons learning about the strange world of the atom (Unit 3 & Unit 8), it’s time to discover which part of the atom is responsible for magnets and magnetic fields.


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Why does a magnet stick to your fridge and not your soda can, even though both are magnetic?  (No kidding!)  And when you run magnets down a metal ramp, they defy gravity and slow to a stop. And how come the grapes from your lunchbox twist around to align with magnets, even though there’s no iron inside?  There’s got to be a reason behind this madness… would you like to find out what it is with me?


One of the best things you can do with this unit is to take notes in a journal as you go. Snap photos of yourself doing the actual experiment and paste them in alongside your drawing of your experimental setup. This is the same way scientists document their own findings, and it’s a lot of fun to look back at the splattered pages later on and see how far you’ve come. I always jot down my questions that didn’t get answered with the experiment across the top of the page so I can research it more later. Are you ready to get started?


Unit 11: Magnetism Teleclass

This is a recording of a live teleclass I did when this unit was first released. This is a great way to get introduced to the unit you’re about to do and get started. I’ve included it here so you can participate and learn, too! To listen to the audio recording, download the teleclass mp3 here.


Unit 11: Getting Started with the Lessons

Get started with Lesson 1: Magnets!