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Experiment #4 from Investigating Magnetism

Education Level
Elementary School


Have you ever made a magnet with a nail, some wire, and a battery? This kind of magnet is called an electromagnet because it uses an electric current traveling through a wire to make the magnet. To make the electromagnet in this activity, a wire will be wrapped around the nail and then the wire will be connected to the ends of the battery.


  • Make an electromagnet using a steel nail, a wire, and a D battery.
  • Measure the strength of the magnet as you wrap more wire around the nail.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #4 of Investigating Magnetism. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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