Attractive Displays: Evaluating the strength of magnetic systems

Grade Level: 5th


Students will experiment with magnetic systems and observe how the thickness of a material being hung by a magnet effects the strength of the system.



3-5-ETS1-3 Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.


S5P3b Plan and carry out an investigation to observe the interaction between a magnetic field and a magnetic object.

Guiding question:

What are some ways magnets are commonly used?

How would you expect the strength of the magnet to affect the amount of weight it can hold?

How does the thickness of the object being held affect the amount of weight the magnet can hold?

Magnetic systems include the magnet, the object being held, and the ferromagnetic surface to which the magnet is attracted.


Students will compare the relative strength of different magnetic systems.

Pairs of round rare earth magnets hold fragments of this ceramic vessel in place during reconstruction and repair.