Magnetic Movement Experiment

Contributor: Samantha Penna. Lesson ID: 11912

Have you ever tried walking through water, sand, or mud? Was it easy? How would other objects move through other substances? Play scientist and learn to perform experiments that prove your guesses!


Scientific Method

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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  • Can you guess what magnets do?
  • How would you figure out the answer to this or any scientific question?

Stop guessing and read on to learn what a scientist would do!

If you have not yet done so, you may want to explore the Related Lesson found in the right-hand sidebar before continuing.

Magnets can be used in many ways.

  • A magnet attracts (draws to itself) metals, such as steel and iron.
  • All magnets have two poles, a north pole and a south pole. North and south poles attract because they are opposites. If you try to attach a north pole to a north pole or a south pole to a south pole, the magnets will repel (move away from) each other.
  • Every magnet is surrounded by a magnetic field. This field attracts or repels certain objects.

In this lesson, you will experiment with magnets. During your experiment, you will take on the role of a scientist. Take a look at some of the steps scientists follow while conducting an experiment:

  1. Ask a question.
  2. Make a hypothesis.
  3. Experiment.
  4. Analyze data (information).
  5. Compare results with the hypothesis.

You will be guided through each of the five steps during the lesson. Gather all of your supplies and ingredients for the experiment:

  • four clear plastic cups
  • water
  • vegetable oil
  • corn syrup
  • paper clips
  • magnet

Take a look at all the materials you have. During this experiment, you will be using all of these ingredients to test how certain liquids affect a magnet’s magnetic pull, the force that attracts things like paperclips to a magnet.

Think about a question you can ask for this experiment. For example, "Will the paper clips still attract to a magnet while they are in water?"


You came up with an excellent question! Now you need to create a hypothesis. A hypothesis is a prediction you make about what will happen during or after an experiment.

Think about what will happen if you place a paper clip in an empty cup, a cup of water, a cup of vegetable oil, and a cup of corn syrup.

  • How do you think the different liquids will affect the magnet?
  • In which cup will the paper clips attract to the magnet fastest?
  • Which cups will have the slowest attraction?

Create a hypothesis that tells how you think each liquid will affect the speed of the paper clip that is traveling to the magnet.

Now, you are ready to experiment to see if your prediction is correct, so move on to the Got It? section to begin.

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