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DIY Electromagnet STEM Project for School Kids

If you are a student or parent looking for a cool science fair or STEM project then you are at the right place. In this article, we are going to learn how to develop an electromagnet. This STEM project is for kids who want to develop a project for their science fair or to gain more knowledge about the working of electromagnets. In this DIY science project, you will use the components in the home to build the project.

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Components required to build an electromagnet

  • A large iron nail or rod (3-4 inches) 
  • Thin Insulated copper wire (length 3 feet)
  • D cell battery or Adjustable power supply
  • Small magnetic objects
  • Switch (not mandatory)

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Engineering connection

Electromagnets are used in our day-to-day life in motors, hard disks, loudspeakers, etc. But most of us do not even realize that we are interacting with electromagnets on a daily basis. Devices like refrigerators, washing machines, garbage proposals, doorbells, computer printers, can openers, speakers, clothes dryers, vacuum cleaners, etc. 

Learning objectives

After building this activity your kid should be able to:

  • Describe how electromagnets are made
  • How to improve the strength of an electromagnet 
  • List some items where electromagnets are used in real life
  • Relate that electric current creates a magnetic field

How to build an electromagnet?

It is very easy to build an electromagnet. All you need to do is wrap the insulated copper wire around the iron rod or nail. Then attach the battery to the wire, the electric current will flow around the iron core and it will get magnetized. If you disconnect the battery the iron core will lose its magnetism. Follow the below steps to build the electromagnet:

Step 1 - Collect the required components

To build the electromagnet you need the following components:

  • Iron nail
  • Insulated wire 
  • D-cell batteries

Step 2 - Remove the covering at the ends of the wire

With the help of wire stripper and remove the insulation at the end of the wire so that it will create good contact with the batteries. 

Step 3 - Wind the wire around the nail

Now gently coil the wire around the nail in one direction. As the direction of the magnetic field depends on the direction of the flow of electric current you need to maintain the same direction of rotation. The movement of electric charges creates the magnetic field. 

Step 4 - Connect the battery

Attach one end of the wire to the positive terminal and the other end to the negative terminal of the battery. If the polarity is reversed the poles also will get reversed. 

Step 5 - Test the electromagnet

Keep the paper clips or iron materials near the rod, you can observe the items are getting picked up. 

Always keep in mind that the more the current passes the better the magnetic field. Try experimenting with different cores and test your electromagnet with a permanent magnet. If the permanent magnet attracts your core you have created a powerful electromagnetic field. For instance, you can use an aluminum bar as the core for your experiment. 

This is the best STEM project for school kids which helps them to understand the principles behind electromagnet. 

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Kit required to develop DIY Electromagnet STEM Project for School Kids:
Technologies you will learn by working on DIY Electromagnet STEM Project for School Kids:
DIY Electromagnet STEM Project for School Kids
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2021-05-28

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