Friday, May 1, 2009

Harry Potter Science

We've been working to finish up the Harry Potter unit study this week, and amongst star gazing, learning about bats, and a variety of other things we've been doing some science experiments. Morgan was very pleased by this. On Monday, I had him "transfigure" a needle into a compass. He wasn't convinced the theory would work, but dutifully set to work with Daddy following the instructions. Daddy can be a prankster when it comes to teaching lessons, can you tell from the picture? Morgan couldn't decide if he was really suppose to rub that needle on the magnet or not..

First fill a pie pan with water. If it's your Mom's brand new pie pan that took her two years to find and buy be sure to listen carefully to the lecture about trying your very hardest to NOT break it.

Next listen to Daddy tell you about a needle and everything you can do with it, and what you shouldn't do with it. Like poking your brother..

Next, place a floating object in the water. We used a small bit of foam, you can use foam, cork, a bottle cap, a leaf, anything that will float!

Rub your needle over the magnet 12 - 100 times. Don't have a magnet? You can use silk too, but my guess is that if you don't own a magnet you probably don't own silk!

Place the now magnetized needle on the foam and watch it spin as it seeks out north. There are many ways you can mark north, but anything involving a sharpie on your Mom's new pie plate is not advised! I'm just warning you in advance..

Lastly, find out how and why this "magic trick" works. Then read a fun book about magnets to top the whole lesson off with.

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