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Middle School Science Projects: Magnet Science

By Keren Perles

Looking for a fun and easy science project to win at the science fair? Maybe you just want to earn some extra credit. Try out a magnet science project.

Block the Magnet

For this magnet science project, you’ll need a strong magnet. Put the magnet on a table, and lay a ruler next to it so that the magnet lines up with the beginning edge of the ruler. Then put a paper clip at the 6 inch mark of the ruler. Does the magnet attract the paper clip? If not, move the paper clip half an inch closer and try again. Keep on moving the paper clip until the magnet attracts it, and record the measurement that the paper clip was at before it was attracted to the magnet. Then repeat the experience, putting a piece of tin foil in front of the magnet. Does the paper clip have to be closer in order for the magnet to attract it? Repeat the experience with various materials, such as glass, cardboard, or plastic. Which one blocks the magnet’s power the most?

Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Do you think that two magnets will have more power than one magnet? How much more? Twice the power? Test your hypothesis with this magnet science project. Put two paper plates next to each other, and cover one of the plates with paper clips. Then take a magnet and hold it directly over the paper clips. Transfer the paper clips attached to the magnet to the other plate. Count the number of paper clips and record it on a table. Repeat this part of the experiment ten times. Then put two magnets together and see how many paper clips you can transfer. (Note: Make sure to hold the magnets in the same location over the first plate.)

Plant Growth and Magnets

Magnets produce a magnetic field. But does a magnetic field affect living things, like plants? Find out by using this magnet science project. Wet a paper towel and fold it so that it fits the inside of a foam cup. Then slip a bean between the paper towel and the side of the cup. Repeat this process until you have twenty cups. Place the cups indoors in a sunny area. Place a magnet into alternate cups, and mark them “Magnet Beans.” Measure your bean plants daily to see whether the Magnet Beans are growing more quickly or slowly than the other beans. (Take a look at this article for more bean plant experiments.)