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Simple Science Experiments Electromagnet


We are so excited to share this super cool experiment with you. Today we are going to show you how to make a Super Magnet also known as an Electromagnet because…well you’ll see why.

What You will need:

  • A large iron nail (about 3 inches)
  • About 3 feet of thin coated copper wire (could find in your hardware store about $3)
  • A brand new D sized battery (must be new)
  • Paper clips or other small magnetic items.

What to do:

  1. First cut about 24inches of copper wire.
  2. Leave about 8 inches of wire loose at one end
  3. Then wrap most of the wire around the nail. Try not to overlap the wires.
  4. Leave about 8 inches of wire on the other end.
  5. Cut the wire (if you need to)
  6.  If your copper wire is coated (ours wasn’t, but you should use a thin coated wire), remove about an inch of the plastic coating from both ends of the wire.
  7. Next, attach each exposed end to each end of the battery.
  8. You can tape each end to the battery; the battery and wire will get very hot, so be careful.
  9. Now you have a SUPER MAGNET or ELECTROMAGNET.
  10. Put the point or end of the nail near the paper clips or small magnetic items and watch as it picks them up.

*Making a super magnet uses up the battery pretty quickly which is why the battery gets warm, so make sure to disconnect the wires when you are done exploring.*



Most magnets like the ones on our refrigerators are permanent magnets; they can not be turned off. Magnets like the one we just made can be turned on and off. They are called Electromagnets. They run on electricity (the battery). They are only magnetic when the electricity is flowing (when connected to the batter). The electricity flowing through the wire arranges the molecules in the nails so that they are attracted to certain metals. Keep the wires from the super magnet (electromagnet) away from any household outlet. Please be safe!


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Simple Science Experiments Electromagnet

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