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        9-13+

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        Electromagnetism and a Simple Motor (HS) | Explore Materials

        In this lesson students will explore what happens at the atomic level when electricity and magnetism interact to create a force. In a lab they will watch a video about moving atoms, build a simple motor and make observations and predictions about ways to manipulate its operation.

        Lesson Summary

        Overview

          In this lesson students will explore what happens at the atomic level when electricity and magnetism interact to create a force. In a lab they will watch a video about moving atoms, build a simple motor and make observations and predictions about ways to manipulate its operation.

        Grade Level: 9-12

        Suggested Time

        • Approximately 45 minutes

        Content Objectives

        • Students will create a simple motor.
        • Students will determine the variables that affect the motor's performance.

        Process Objectives

        • Students will evaluate the motor’s performance and make necessary changes to increase the performance.

        Assessment Strategies

        • Completion of the lab.

        Media Resource, Lab and Teachers' Guide

        Materials

        • Magnetic wire
        • Pencil or pen
        • Paper cup
        • 2 safety pins
        • Tape
        • Two small magnets
        • Wire, preferably with alligator clips
        • Battery (each motor could use multiple batteries

        Procedure

        • Teacher should start a discussion about how to move atoms. Teacher should ask the students if they can think of examples of how atoms can be moved without touching them. Teacher should lead a discussion on how changes in temperature can change the movement of atoms.
        • Students should view the video clip

          Moving Atoms QuickTime Video

          (3 minutes, 07 seconds)
        • Teacher should ask students to come up with a design in which a battery can be used to make a wire move.
        • Teacher can inform the students that they will be creating a simple electromagnetic motor.
        • Students should create the motor and answer the concluding questions.

        Extension

        • Groups of students can combine supplies to create the “ultimate” motor.
        • Students can try to create a pulley system and attempt to have the motor do work.

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