Thursday, May 14, 2009

Making a Needle Compass + Placing the 4 Directions

A really simple but quite amazing activity we did this week was to make our own compass!
Here's how you do it:

+ Magnetise a sewing needle by rubbing it with a magnet (in one direction) about 50 times
+  Fill a bowl with water and float a small piece of paper on the water
+ Once the needle has been magnetised you place it on the piece of paper 
+ If the paper floats to the edge of the bowl just gently push it back to the centre
+ Watch what happens!

The sharp tip of the needle will align itself with the magnetic north pole & point true North!

Once we had placed North we were able to place the other directions. 

Here the little ball is representing the sun & we talked about the sun rising in the East & setting in the West. We did this activity in the morning so it was really clear to see how the sun was rising in the direction that we'd marked as East :)


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4 comments :

  1. SO cool! We'll definitely be doing this. Thanks!!

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  2. I've been wanting to teach the kids about directions. This will be perfect! Thanks!

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