Monday, March 5, 2012

Build a Compass

Using a compass is loads of fun, not to mention educational. If you do not have a compass, you can build your own. To create your own compass, you will need the following materials:

· A needle or some other wire-like piece of steel (a straightened paper clip, for example)
· Something small that floats such as a piece of cork, the bottom of a Styrofoam coffee cup, a piece of plastic, or the cap from a milk jug
· A dish, preferably a pie plate, 9 to 12 inches (23 - 30 cm) in diameter, with about an inch (2.5 cm) of water in it

The first step is to turn the needle into a magnet. The easiest way to do this is with another magnet -- stroke the magnet along the needle 10 or 20 times. If you are having trouble finding a magnet around the house, you can use the one on a can opener.

Place your float in the middle of your dish of water. Center your magnetic needle on the float. It will very slowly point toward north. You have just created your very own compass!

No comments:

Post a Comment