Easy Science Experiment: Gravity And Magnetism Activity

Normally, paper clips do not fly into a hand that hovers over them.

That is because the gravitational force pulls the paper clips toward the Earth.

In the experiment, you will use a strong magnet to make the paper clips come upward into your hands.

It’s almost like the paper clips can defy gravity.

But it’s only because the magnetic force in this case is bigger than the gravitational force.

Try this experiment and see for yourself.

You will need a strong magnet.

palm faces down, magnet placed on top, a bunch of paper clips stuck to the palm

Gravity And Magnetism Easy Science Experiment

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This easy science experiment is a fun way to demonstrate the concept of gravity and magnetism to young kids.

It takes almost no time to set up.

Warning: Magnets are very hazardous if swallowed.  Please keep them away from children who still put everything into their mouths.

Materials

  • paper clips (I used these color coated ones)
  • neodymium magnet

Tools

  • adult supervision

Instructions

colored paper clips

  1. Extend your hand with the palm facing down.
  2. Place the magnet on the back of your hand.
  3. Hover your hand over the paper clips and see them flying into your palm.

Notes

  • Try putting different types of materials between the magnet and the paper clips to see what happens.
  • Try varying the distance between the magnet and the paper clips to see if it changes the number of paper clips the magnet attracts.

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Why

A magnet produces a magnetic field around itself.

The magnetic field applies magnetic force and can attract the paper clips.

Even if you put your hand between the magnet and the paper clips, the magnetic field still exists.

But in the presence of a strong magnetic field, the magnetic force can counter and even exceed the gravitational force, pulling the paper clips upward.

As a result, the paper clips are more attracted to the magnet than to the Earth.

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