Today, students finished up their project on Native Americans of North Carolina. Their task was to research the different tribes/nations of indigenous people living in each of the three main regions of North Carolina: Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Mountains - excluding the Sand Hills. They were to choose one tribe/nation from each region and then research their culture, government, food, shelter, etc. Since there are many resources available, Google was their friend. This also gave them practice on how to research, finding the right information in the massive amount available.
In science, I had my class make a homopolar motor: the world's simplest motor. All that is needed is a AA battery, a short length (4-6 inches) of wire with both ends stripped, a steel screw, and a small (1/4 inch) neodymium disk magnet. This was not a make-and-take this time, due to the expense of getting enough magnets for the students. But first, they did the following warm-up:
In order to reinforce the first question, I took a ceramic rectangular magnet and used my pole detector in the pocket of my lab coat. Testing it, it showed a clear north pole at one end and a south pole at another. Then, I took my rubber mallet and broke it into two pieces. Using the same pole detector, I showed that I in fact had created two new magnets, each with its own north and south poles. The principal of like repelling and opposites attracting still holds - two magnets have been made, smaller in size and maybe a little less powerful but they still work independently.
Then, I had the students do a make-and-put-back. What they did was demonstrate electromagnetism by making a homopolar motor: the world's simplest motor.
The magnet is attached to the head of the screw and the tip attaches to the negative (flat) terminal of the battery. The magnet must be a neodymium in order to provide enough magnetic force for the screw to stick to the battery and not fall. One end of the wire is touching the positive (bumpy) terminal on the battery. The other bare end of the wire touches the magnet. Then, this new force is created. By touching the magnet, a circuit is completed allowing electricity to flow from positive, through the wire, through the magnet, through the screw, and back to the other terminal of the battery. By touching the wire, the magnet and screw start to spin rapidly.