Science doesn't have to be
complicated, expensive or use specialized laboratory equipment.
There are great science projects that can be performed using common
Whether you are a parent or a student trying
to find an idea for a science project, a teacher looking for ideas
for the classroom, or a science enthusiast who enjoys the delight of
experimentation, you'll find what you're looking for in this book.
Lodestones are magnets that are found
in nature. They are chunks of magnetite ( Fe3O4
) that have been exposed to the
strong magnetic field from a bolt of lightning that has struck the
earth. As early as 800BC, both the Chinese and the Greeks have known
about how pieces of iron will stick to lodestone. There are
references by the Greek historian Pliny to a herdsman named Magnes,
who found that his iron shod staff stuck to some of the stones where
his herd grazed. Ancient
Egyptians referred to lodestone as the bone of Haroeri, grandson of
the goddess of the earth.
One of the earliest known recorded
use of a compass is from China. There are records in ancient texts
dating from approximately 100AD of a “South Pointer”. This
device was a loadstone spoon that was balanced on a plate. The cup
part of the spoon would point south, giving the Emperor the
direction he needed so that he could plow a ritualistic furrow to
ensure the fertility of the earth.
There is also evidence of compasses
being used in the laying out of some very old cities in the south of
China. For example, in the city of Kansu, there are traces of two
different alignments. In the older part of the city, the alignment
runs almost North/South - in a newer section of the city the
alignment runs 11 degrees to the east of North/South. See
some old pictures
of this city.
Once the properties of magnets were
explored more, compasses were developed. This allowed for much
greater exploration of the planet. In 1492, Columbus used a compass
to allow his ships to continue on their westward course on his quest
to find India. Unfortunately Columbus found that the Americas were
in the way.
In today’s world magnets can be
found everywhere. Wherever there is an electric motor such as in a
fan, or an electric generator you will find magnets. Every wire that
has electricity running through it will also have its own magnetic
field around it. You can use this magnetic field to create an electro
magnet of your own.
Maglev trains are one of the
flashiest uses of magnets in today’s world. These trains have
powerful magnets underneath them and these magnets lift the train up
off of the track. With no contact to the earth, these trains can
move incredibly fast and provide a very smooth ride for the
passengers. Find out more about Maglev
Creative Kids at Home has checked every
weblink on this page. We believe these links provide
interesting information that is appropriate for kids. However,
the internet is a constantly changing place. You are
responsible for supervising your own children. If you ever
find a link that you feel is inappropriate, please let us know.
42 Piece Magnetic Geomag Glow In The
Janice VanCleave's Magnets:
Mind-boggling Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair