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Make steel objects magnetic by stroking them with a permanent magnet

Suitable For

Grade 2



Time Required

 <1 Hour



What’s it about?

Although only temporary, any metal object that is touched with a magnet becomes magnetic itself and can attract other metal items which then also becomes magnetic. As soon as the first object is no longer in contact with the magnet, all the steel objects loses their magnetic properties.

A piece of steel or steel nail can also be turned into a ‘permanent’ magnet by stroking it several times with another strong permanent magnet as you will see in the following science experiment:

Topics covered

Magnetism, Ferrous

What will I need?


Procedure (Method)

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

How does it work?

Unfortunately, this section is only available in the e-book version of the project.

A magnet is a metal object of which its electrons are lined up so that it can attract other pieces of ferrous (metal) objects. Certain metals have a structure that allows their electrons to more easily line up and form a magnetic field. Iron, nickel and cobalt are the easiest metals to magnetize by stroking with a permanent magnet. The longer the nail in this science experiment is stroked by the permanent magnet, the more electrons in the metal are lined up and the stronger the magnetic field it produces. The longer any piece of metal is stroked by a magnet the stronger a magnet the metal piece will become, but it can never become stronger than the original magnet!

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