Electromagnet

Unlike the magnets that are used on refrigerators, electromagnets are magnets that can be turned on and off depending on the flow of electricity. The electricity that flows through the wire allows the molecules in the nail to attract certain things. Give this experiment a try, and see how many paper clips you can pick up with your electromagnet!

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Wrap the magnet wire around the nail 20 times. Trim the wire, leaving a couple of inches sticking out at the top and the bottom.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Use the sandpaper to scrape the coating off both ends of the wire.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Hook up the alligator clips to the battery pack, then connect them to the wires.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    You've made a magnet! Now bring the tip of the nail close to some bent staples. How many can you pick up? 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Warning

    When you're done tinkering, don't forget to disconnect the wire. The battery and wire can get hot!

Share what you made & tag us at!