First you need to gather up all of the materials you will need.  Below is a list of the following items needed to conduct this project:

  • A sheet of paper
  • A magnet
  • Steel shavings (you can get these by buying a steel wool pad and pulling it apart until you have a small pile of steel shavings)

Are you ready?  Let’s get started.  First, you need to set the magnet on top of a table.  Next cover the magnet with the sheet of paper that you have.  Sprinkle the steel shavings over the paper and see what happens next.  The shavings should take the shape of a figure eight (8) which are the lines of force of the magnetic field.

So why did the steel shavings take the shape of the figure eight (8)?  It’s because the steel shavings will line up along the lines of the magnetic force which are close together at the poles of the magnet and farther apart as you move away from the poles.  Cool, huh?

There are a couple of other ideas that you could do to change up the project a little bit and see what happens.  You could try different sizes and shapes of magnets or use different kinds of paper – with different thicknesses and textures.

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