Magnets at the Core

This Magnets at the Core activity & project also includes:

Here's a magnetic core sample activity your class will be drawn to! Working groups use a compass to examine changes in polarity over time in Earth's crust. Created from pool noodles and magnets, these core samples allow young geologists to hypothesize about major changes in Earth's magnetic field, including pole reversals.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Have learners look for evidence that drastic changes to the magnetic field have an impact on plants and animals
  • Take advantage of the helpful extensions included at the end of the activity
Classroom Considerations
  • Magnetic cores require heavy-duty prep work; be sure to get students ready well in advance of the activity
  • Pupils should be grouped in twos or threes
Pros
  • The activity is hands-on, bringing the concept of the paleomagnetic record alive
  • Teacher's guide is well-organized and includes pictures to help you prepare the core samples
Cons
  • None