Students ‘Attract’ to Magnet Education

In conjunction with their magnet and electricity unit, fourth-grade students at James H. Boyd Intermediate School participated in the “Magnets to Go” program, an interactive lesson on magnetic forces provided by the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Guided by BNL Department of Energy scientist Jessica McKenna, students worked in pairs to complete magnet experiments. They learned about the different magnetic and non-magnetic metals, explored the attracting and repelling sides of a magnet, and observed the flow of electricity using a solenoid, a coil of wire that acts like a magnet when an electric current is present. Following each experiment, the students discussed the phenomena that occurred.

“We are able to provide schools with this outreach program where a lot of scientists can relate to the kids and share their knowledge,” said McKenna. “It’s a hands-on experience that goes along with the school curriculum and state tests.”