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Magnet STEM: Exploring Magnetic Fields

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Magnets are one of my favorite things to explore and experiment with. We were recently exploring magnetic fields with a cow magnet. Have you ever heard of a cow magnet?  It is a very strong magnet that is actually used in cows to collect any metal things that they may eat. Since it is so strong, it is a fun one to use in magnet experiments.

Magnetic fields experiment with a cow magnet

How to Do This Cool Magnetic Fields Experiment:

You will need lamp or mineral oil, a test tubea cow magnet, iron filings, and a small plastic bottle.

Put your magnet into the test tube.

Fill the bottle with mineral oil and pour in a Tablespoon on two of the iron filings. Insert the test tube with the magnet into the bottle and close the lid tightly.

Magnet fields science with cow magnet

Shake up the bottle and watch what happens to the iron filings. They will attract to the test tube creating all kinds of interesting patterns! Since the cow magnet is so strong, you will be able to see the magnet filings surround the poles of the magnet.

You can keep shaking it to release and change the patterns a bit. It is really amazing to watch and play with. My kids are completely mesmerized by it!

Experiment with iron filings and magnets

As I said, we LOVE magnets! Check out some of our other magnet projects:

Magnet Marble Mazes
Magnet Pendulum– another great one for magnetic fields! 
Magnet Boats
Magnet Bell Game
Magnet Science for Kids

What are your favorite ways to play and learn with magnets?

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