Last week we looked at forces and how they can make an object slow down, speed up or change direction. This week we explored magnets and magnetic forces.

We learnt that magnetism is an invisible force that acts between two materials that do not have to be in direct contact. You cannot see magnetism, but you can feel its effects with two bar magnets. We decided it felt like ‘invisible jelly in between the poles’. Each magnet has two ends, which are referred to as poles. Depending on which way round you place the magnets, the magnetic force between them either pushes them apart (repels) or pulls them together (attracts). All magnets, whatever their shape, have these two poles.

Our task was to observe how magnets attract or repel each other and attract some materials and not others. We compared and grouped together a variety of everyday materials on the basis on whether they were attracted to a magnet, and identified some magnetic materials.  

We found out that not all metals are magnetic. For example our metal table legs were magnetic however our metal door handle was not.

Take a closer look at our photos in our photo gallery