24 January 2009

What things stick to a magnet?

As we have seen, one of the properties of a metal allen key is that it sticks to a magnet (or should that be a magnet sticks to it?)  Anyway, on Wednesday we decided to see if we could find out some things about magnets and what kinds of things stick to them. 

This is one of the things we thought we would find out: magnets stick to metal.

OK - let's go.  As we thought, magnets stick to metal.....


what is that exactly, Ryoma?

And to metal pencil sharpener blades:

IMG_1829 IMG_1841

To metal teddy magnets and metal bolts and metal scissors and metal fans:

what's it like 

And to metal paperclips and metal staples and a metal chain:

what's it like1

But not to wooden lolly sticks or wooden pencils or plastic dice or coloured paper:

what's it like4

Scritch, scratch, scribble to record our findings.....

IMG_1828 IMG_1833

and here is our thinking:

  • magnets stick to materials made from metal
  • magnets do not stick to materials made from wood
  • magnets do not stick to materials made from glass
  • magnets do not stick to materials made from plastic

Ah but hang on a minute; wasn't there anything that surprised you?

Amelia: "I was surprised that the metal lock on the cupboard did not stick but the one next to it did."

Now Tommy: "The metal doorknob did not stick."

Aabis: "The metal end of the pencil did not stick."

Shahrbano: "It did not stick to Raamy's metal chain."

what's it like2

It didn't stick either to the metal of Sivert's glasses or to the money (but of course that isn't real money; is it?)

Perhaps we should change our thinking a bit.

"Sometimes magnets don't stick to metal," Sharukh summed up for us.  Perfect.  Next question?  Yes, you've guessed.

Which metals stick to a magnet and which do not stick to a magnet?

To cut a long (and rather exciting) story short, this is what we found out yesterday:

Magnets do not stick to these metals:

  • zinc
  • bronze
  • copper
  • brass
  • aluminium
  • lead
  • gold (thank you Meghna, Chloe, for sharing your earrings!)

Magnets do stick to these metals:

  • steel
  • iron

And now here's a challenge.  Tommy brought two Swiss cow bells to show us.  He told us that the first was made from sheet metal that had been made into a bell shape.

What kind of metal, we wanted to know, was it made from.  How could we find out?  And what would it mean?


And now his other tiny golden one.  Could it be real  gold?


Well, was it?


Now, remember Tatiana's iron or steel key (previous post)?  How could we find out whether it is actually made out of iron or steel?

A quick PS here and Mums, apologies for this.  Your child may just sneak up behind you with a magnet to see if your gold earrings or necklaces or rings actually are made from gold.....Let's hope there are no nasty surprises - of any kind!

And PPS - I did have a teeny fright during the magnet investigation.  Amelia very cleverly observed that her magnet did not stick to the metal on "that memory stick over there....."  Oh no!  My reports; all that hard work - aargh! 

But not to worry, I think they are safe!

1 comment:

melini said...

i was just wondering any other ideas of how to get a gold ring out of the sower frame the alliminium bit of the shower screen attached tp the wall area? I accidently put my ring up there because i had it on my finger in the shower and i dont like wearing my ring in the shower so i put it up there only to hear the landing sound of my ring, now this part were my ring is supposed to have a plastic cap to cover this hole well unfortantly it didnt..... i know a magnet wont help but is there any other ideas....