Featured in PASCO’s Elementary School Science Teacher Guide

Elementary School Science Teacher Guide


Features 29 inquiry based labs designed for elementary students and coordinated with the standards for life, earth and physical sciences.

What is an Electromagnet

Lab Summary

Use a voltage sensor to determine the the strength of an electromagnet with different numbers of coils and different magnitude of the voltage source.


To understand this content, students:

  • Learn how to build an electromagnet.
  • Construct a simple electromagnet and observe its behavior when the circuit is open and closed.
  • Observe the strength of the electromagnet after changing the voltage across it or number of coils around it.

Sensors / Equipment Used:

PASPORT Voltage-Current Sensor


Allows students to safely measure voltage and current simultaneously without overloading the sensor. For use with PASPORT Interfaces.

Materials Used:

AA-cell battery - 2
Paper clip - 10 to 15
Alligator clip - 2
Masking tape ~20 cm
Large iron nail, 3 to 4 inches long 
Insulated bell wire, 22 to 26 gauge with ends stripped of insulation for 5 cm - 1 m

The Associated Bundle:

Elementary School Science Standard Sensor Bundle


This bundle contains the probeware needed to perform all 25 lab activities in the Elementary School Introductory Science Experiments.

Interface Required

This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.