Year 3 have been carrying on with their science work on magnets this week. After looking into the properties of magnetic materials last week, the children moved on to investigating whether any of the following statements are true: the largest magnet is always the strongest, the smallest magnet is always the strongest, sometimes the smallest magnet is the strongest. Their first task was to try and devise an experiment that would enable them to compare the strength of several magnets. With a little help and guidance the children decided that this could be done in several different ways, hanging paper clips from the magnets to see which would hold the most, seeing whether or not the magnets could pick up objects of differing weights, measuring the distance from which a magnet would attract a paper clip. The children then had to think about the advantages and disadvantages of each of the experiments. Groups of children carried out different experiments and we then compared results.
Many of the children have been fascinated by this topic and there is nothing they enjoy more than exploring with the magnets. There is a great deal that can be gained by allowing children to explore with magnets and talking to them about what they observe.