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The Classroom Magnetometer

The Classroom Magnetometer

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Short Description: Students build and operate a simple magnetometer using a soda bottle and a bar magnet, and use it to monitor changes in Earth's magnetic field.

Topic: Magnetospheres: Planetary Shields

Grade Level: 5-8

Body: Our Solar System, Sun, Earth

Mission: Earth Science Missions (Earth)

Science Education Standards:


By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that

  • Without touching them, a magnet pulls on all things made of iron and either pushes or pulls on other magnets. 4G/E2
  • Without touching them, an object that has been electrically charged pulls on all other uncharged objects and may either push or pull other charged objects. 4G/E3*

By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that

  • Electric currents and magnets can exert a force on each other. 4G/M3
  • A charged object can be charged in one of two ways, which we call either positively charged or negatively charged. Two objects that are charged in the same manner exert a force of repulsion on each other, while oppositely charged objects exert a force of attraction on each other. 4G/M5** (BSL)


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Last Updated: 1 Jul 2014