Total Duration: 
91 to 120 Minutes 
Materials and Resources: 

Technology Resources Needed: 
Computer with projector to show the following online videos:

Background/Preparation: 
Magnets can be naturally occurring or manmade. Magnetism is strongest at the poles of a magnet, which are determined by their attraction to the North and South Poles of the earth. Opposite poles attract and like poles repel. Simple background information for students and teachers can be found in these YouTube videos: 
Engage (10  15 minutes):
Explore (15  20 minutes): Have students work with a partner to explore magnets. Give each set of partners two magnets, 20  30 paper clips, and a piece of thread. (Have additional paper clips available as needed.) Challenge partners to figure out how to do the following:
As students explore the magnets, have them fill in the chart at the bottom of the "The Mystery of the Floating Magnets" handout or create a chart of their own in their notebooks.
Remind students to explain their findings using terms such as poles, attract, repel, and force. Encourage students to record new terms and definitions from the class vocabulary chart. Have students work in groups of 24 to brainstorm a list of ways magnets are used in our daily lives. (Use chart at the bottom of the handout or have students create their own charts in their notebooks.)
Ask probing questions:
Explain (20 – 30 minutes):
Elaborate (20 – 25 minutes): Students will create an invention that uses magnets to solve one of their brainstormed problems.

Attachments: **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download. 
Assessment Strategies 
Evaluate: Have groups share their inventions with the class. Each group should tell the problem their invention will solve, how they used the magnets to accomplish this task, and how they might improve their design in the future. Use the rubric for evaluating the students' teamwork, structure design, and evidence of thought in their journal entries. 
Acceleration: 
Accelerate and Extend: Have students independently view and build a magnet detector using the Design Squad materials on PBS Learning Media. Students may also explore how magnetic attraction can affect the course of a moving object by completing the Design Squad Mission Solar System Challenge. In addition to the materials listed in the materials section, students will need steel balls (ball bearings work well) and a 1foot section of rope or clothesline. 
Intervention: 
Intervention: Provide suggestions for students who need help coming up with ideas for problems that can be solved using magnets and/or possible inventions. Some examples are listed below:

View the Special Education resources for
instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations
for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.
