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4th Grade Science Fair Projects

The study of electricity makes for one of the most interesting of 4th grade science fair projects. Children at this age are just starting to become curious about such things and they also have a good grasp of understanding for such topics.

Below is a project that any fourth grader will be happy to do!

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What's Needed:

  • Rectangular magnet
  • Two pieces of material, such as cardboard approximately 5" x 7"
  • Two ¼" dowels, 7 centimetres or longer (pencils will do just fine)
  • Several paper clips
  • A non-metallic material such as a drinking straw or Popsicle stick
  • Something metallic such as a dull knife
  • Glue or rubber bands

To assemble, attach dowels to a piece of the cardboard. Situate the dowels near the edges. Glue the next piece of cardboard to the dowels so the dowels sit in between the pieces of cardboard. Secure the magnet on to the top of the cardboard with glue or tape. Placing the magnet close to the edge and in the middle will work best with the experiment.

Lift the paper clips towards the bottom piece of cardboard one at a time and observe what happens. The magnet will attract the paper clips and they will hang from the bottom of the contraption. If this doesn't happen, it may be because the magnet is too thick, the dowels too large, or the cardboard is too thick.

If this happens, you can fix the situation by using another magnet in addition to the one that is already there. By adding more paper clips carefully, they will move into positions that have even spaces between them. If you put a pencil in the middle of the sandwich, nothing will happen. However, if you put a strapping tape or butter knife in the middle and move it around, the paper clips should fall off.

What's happening is the magnetic fields from the magnet go through both pieces of cardboard and the air. Non-metallic items like the pencil that make the paper clips do nothing, are called non--permeable objects. The butter knife on the other hand, will not allow the magnetic field to pass through. Materials that gather magnetic lines are called permeable and the term only refers to magnets.

Researchers in science try to copy the force of magnets using field lines. A compass will show where field lines are. Iron will also show were field lines are. You an view the field lines by using iron filings and placing them onto a piece of paper that is covering a magnet. Field lines begin at the north pole of a magnet and go back to the south pole.

This is one of the most interesting of the 4th grade science fair projects as it is very easy to assemble and to explain. It may not be necessary to go as in-depth with the magnetic field explanation. For a fourth grade science fair project, the basics of magnetism will do.

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