Basic Information

Magnets give the power to pull certain things.  Go get yourself a magnet now and a paper clip. 

 Push your magnet slowly along closer to the paper clip.  Suddenly, almost magically, the paper clip will snap over to the magnet and stick there!  See.  You did it.


What do you think happened?  Well, scientists have discovered that everything in this world is made up of something very tiny called atoms.  They are so small that you cannot even see them with your eyes or the strongest microscope.

Some atoms face up while others face down.  Some even lay on their side.  But, most importantly, most magnets are made from iron atoms which are considered very special.  Each one has a tiny bit of pulling power.  In order to make them work properly, the iron atoms need to all be facing in one direction.  This way they will all work together.

When you use a magnet, the magnet was made so all of the atoms were facing one direction.  So therefore it is a permanent magnet.


So far you have only used a paper clip to test this.  Paper clips just like you guessed are made of iron. 

Now I want you to test other things to see if your magnet is attracted  to them.  Before you do so, click here to print the worksheet to keep track of what does and doesn't attract.


Magnets & Magnet Kits: Fun and cheap