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Magnets: paper clip bridge

Students make a bridge of paper clips between two magnets. The materials can be used as a free experimentation activity.
Science content (2016 curriculum): 
Physics: Motion and Forces, Newton’s Laws, Gravity (K, 2, 6)
Lessons activity is in: 
  • Two magnets per student
  • 20 or so paper clips per student, or better small nails (which can't be hooked together)

Students make a bridge out of paper clips/nails between two magnets.
What is the longest bridge you can make?
Does it help to have the paper clips/nails piled up or in single file?

See that magnetic force can pass through the paper clips.
Some metals can become magnets and attract another metal.

Grades taught: 
Gr 1
Gr 2
Teaching site: 
Gordon Elementary
After School Programs at Elementary schools in New York City
Fraser Elementary