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A useful electromagnet

Create an electromagnet that will be of practical use in your house. A simple experiment using readily available components.

Can you create an electromagnet that will be of practical use in your house?  This could be for sifting through materials that you need to sort into magnetic and non-magnetic, or designing a light/sound that will be switched by the use of the magnet. 

You will need:

  • Wirestrippers
  • Scissors
  • Coated wire (one 2m piece, 1 10cm piece)
  • Screwdriver
  • Paper clips
  • D battery
  • Tape
  • Paper fasteners
  • Card
1

Make a switch by pushing two paper fasteners through the card, no more than a paperclip length apart. Attach a steel paperclip to one of the fasteners.

2

Use approx 2m of coated wire and strip both ends.

3

Tape part of the wire to the screwdriver handle, making sure there is about 10cm spare.

4

Coil the wire round the metal part of the screwdriver using 10 turns and tape the last turn.

5

Connect the wire from the screwdriver handle to the battery and from the end of the coil to the switch.

6

Cut a short piece of wire, strip both ends and connect from the switch to the other battery terminal.

7

Cut a short piece of wire, strip both ends and connect from the switch to the other battery terminal.