Professor Brainstorm's Science Shop - Defying Gravity
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Defying Gravity Experiment

Suitable for ages 6 to 13 years
Year 2 to Year 8 (P3 - S2)

An amazing experiment in which a paperclip appears to hang in mid-air.
(It is held there by the magnetic attraction from the strong magnet above.)

Carefully wind in the thread - moving the paperclip further and further from the magnet.
How far can you go before the paperclip falls?

Older pupils will need to think about how to measure the maximum separation between the magnet and paperclip. (A rather tricky problem. Several suggestions are included in the Teacher Notes.)

Pupils also get to think about balanced forces.
(Another tricky problem. This is not quite as simple as it seems!)

Different worksheets allow pupils with a wide range of ages and abilities to take part in this experiment.
Depending on age, the activity includes:

Magnetic attraction;

The challenge of measuring quantities in awkward situations;

The importance of measuring quantities more than once;

Balanced forces (and identifying forces).

Defying Gravity Standard Pack (Primary)   (S08)   £5
Defying Gravity Standard Pack (KS3)   (K08)   £5
Defying Gravity Class Pack (Primary)   (S08C)   £16
Defying Gravity Class Pack (KS3)   (K08C)   £16
Additional Defying Gravity Magnets pack   (P08)   £5 for 10 x 12mm magnets
plus £3 p+p if your total order value is less than £30.

The Standard Pack contains:

Worksheets and Teacher Notes in a spiral bound book (so they can be easily photocopied).

1 pair of Strong Magnets - 1 x 12mm and 1 x 8mm magnets.
The 12mm magnet is significantly stronger than the 8mm one. The idea is that you use one magnet first, then the other magnet - to find out what difference that makes. By swapping magnets between groups this means that you can actually make two copies of this experiment with the equipment provided.

The Class Pack contains:

Worksheets and Teacher Notes in a spiral bound book and on CD-ROM - so you can print as many copies as you need.

15 pairs of Strong Magnets (see above) - allowing you to make up to 30 copies of the apparatus.

The additional Defying Gravity Magnets pack contains 10 of the stronger (12mm) magnets.
It does not contain any Worksheets or Teacher Notes.

Note - this experiment is also included in the Fun with Forces Instant Science pack,  
7 - 9 years Science Club ,   9 - 11 years Science Club
and is one of the KS3 Instant Science packs .

Click here to download an Order form
Or simply e-mail your order to profbrainstorm@hotmail.com

Some assembly is required to make the Defying Gravity apparatus.
(In fact, it makes a great technology project.)
Contains small parts - and strong magnets (which need to be handled with care.)
In addition to the items supplied in the pack you will need to have an empty crisp tube, some scissors and sticky tape.

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