In this STEM tutorial, we are going to learn how to make a simple magnetic compass using basic household materials. This STEM project is simple and cool for kids. They can do this project as their school science project or to learn more about magnets.
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What is a magnetic compass?
A Compass is a navigation tool that helps sailors, hikers, pilots, and many other people by showing them the right direction, thus preventing them from getting lost. Basically the compass indicates the geographical directions both cardinal (North, East, West, and South) and intercardinal (North-East, North-West, South-East, and South-West).
As we all know that our Earth is a giant magnet, similar to magnets Earth also has a north pole and south pole. Generally, in magnets, opposite poles attract each other and the same poles repel each other.
Technically the Earth’s North pole attracts the south end of the magnetic compass and Earth’s South pole attracts the north end of the magnetic compass.
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You need the following materials to build this simple magnetic compass:
Procedure to make a simple magnetic compass
First, take a piece of cardboard and draw a circle with a radius of 4cm using the compass. Be careful while handling the compass and keep the cardboard on a flat surface while drawing the circle.
After drawing the circle cut it out from the cardboard using a scissor or knife.
Now take a circular neodymium magnet and paste it on the cardboard in perpendicular direction. Let it dry for some time.
Take a bowl and fill it with water and before putting the cardboard in water apply some glue at the bottom so that the cardboard will not get soaked.
Now we have to calibrate the compass, you can use a smartphone to perform the calibration. After identifying the north pole and south pole mark it with a sketch.
That’s it your simple DIY magnetic compass is now ready you can use this to identify the north and south pole of the Earth.
Note: Make sure there is no interference or disturbance near the compass to get accurate results.
This project is for kids and by developing this project kids will get an understanding of working on the compass and the geographical directions of the earth. You can also give this project as an assignment to teach the concepts practically.
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