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Hot on Magnets

Kayley Rachel (5th grade) from Texas wanted to know if temperature made a difference in the strength of magnets. She researched her question and came up with an experiment to answer her question.  What do you think?  Is a hot magnet stronger or weaker than a cold magnet?  Read her science project "Hot on Magnets" to find the answer.

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Science Projects

Science project due? Take a deep breath of relief. You've found your experiment!

Stop wasting time Google-ing for an idea.  Why start an experiment with hard to follow instructions that might not work? Avoid that long list of expensive, hard to find materials.

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Hot On Magnets

Question: Does temperature affect the strength of magnets?

The hypothesis of my experiment is that temperature extremes (0 degrees Fahrenheit and 210 degrees Fahrenheit) will reduce magnetic strength, when compared to magnetic strength at room temperature (about 72 degrees Fahrenheit).

materials for science experiment on magnetsMaterials

3 ceramic magnets, 
300 bb pellets, 
aluminum foil, 
an oven, 
a freezer, 
a small glass, 
a card board box, 
two screws.


  1. Count out 300 bb pellets and put them into the glass.
  2. First, bake a magnet in the oven (210 degrees Fahrenheit) for one hour. Then, put the second magnet in the freezer (0 degrees Fahrenheit) for one hour. Donít do anything to the third magnet so it remains at room temperature (70 degrees Fahrenheit). 
  3. Attach the screws magnetically to the flat surface of the third magnet with the sharp part facing upwards and dip the magnet into the glass holding the screw by the sharp part. After five seconds, slowly pull the magnet straight up and count the bb pellets that are left in the glass. Subtract the number from 300 and record the data.
  4. When the first and second magnets are done baking and freezing, perform step three with them.
  5. After thirty minutes, repeat the experiment. 
  6. Find the average of the number of bb pellets each magnet picked up.
  7. Analyze results.


The unchanged magnet picked up the most bb pellets, with an average of 215 of them picked up. The frozen magnet picked up the second most, with the average of 192.5 bb pellets picked up, about 10% less than the unchanged magnet. The baked magnet picked up the least, with 174 bb pellets as an average of bb pellets picked up. That is about 20% less than the unchanged magnet and almost two times less than the frozen magnet.














Kayley's science experiment with magnets Conclusions

The unchanged magnet was the strongest magnet of the three magnets concluding that temperature does affect the strength of magnets. I found that the freezing and baking of the two magnets reduced the strength of the magnet by about 10 to 20%. Heating the magnet decreased the magnetís strength the most because the hot magnet picked up almost two times less than the frozen magnet. 

I found that adding the two screws to the magnets as handles seemed to increase the magnetís strength. As a result, the screws and the bb pellets the magnet picked up had magnetic charge. So I had to wait a little while before conducting the experiment with another magnet. 

When I did the experiment I found out that I had to change some things on the procedure. I removed some materials that I didnít need, and added the ones that I needed. I had to do the experiment twice to find the right information that was needed. After performing the experiment again, I found the average of bb pellets each magnet picked up. I learned that it takes a lot of time and patience to conduct a successful experiment.



Levarn, Maxine. 2003. Science Fair Projects for Dummies. Wiley Publishing, Inc.  Indianapolis, Indiana Pp. 212- 213

Kay, Toni and Tritton, Roger and Moore, Sean and Stephens, Hilary and Modelle, Somo and Coburg and Germany and Murrel, Simon and Evans, Jo and Binder, Julee and Austin, Zirrinia and Bush, Charlotte and McCarry, Heather and Pau, Johnny and Walker, Chris and Williams, Kevin and Carouso, Luisa and Jones, Peter and Mason, Jane and Stalker, Geoffrey. 1998. Unlimited Visual Dictionary. DK Publishing, Inc. New York, New York. Pp. 316- 317 

Dream Makers Software 2004 World Book 2005 (computer disk) World Book, Inc. Chicago, Illinois 



More information on the science of magnets



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Exploring Magnet Kits   (Special Deal)

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Janice VanCleave's Magnets: Mind-boggling Experiments You Can Turn Into Science Fair Projects.



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