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This 3-part lesson package for Grades 10-12 school integrates math and physics as students perform an experiment to measure the relative intensity of a magnetic field as a function of distance. Based on findings that utilize their own data, students create mathematical models and use the models to calculate the magnetic field strength at the edge of a magnet. Next, they plot the results and use online tools to generate a line of best fit. Required materials for each group include: magnetic and nonmagnetic materials, neodymium magnet, modeling clay, compass, and access to a semi-log plot or Microsoft Excel. The lesson contains detailed warm-up exercise, front-loaded vocabulary, step-by-step procedures, magnetic field equations handouts, tutorials on doing calculations, rubrics, assessment and answer key for teachers.

This resource is part of the TeachEngineering digital library, which provides teacher-tested lessons designed to connect real-world experiences with curricular content in the K-12 science/math classroom.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
Electricity & Magnetism
- Magnetic Fields and Forces
= Magnetic Fields
- Magnetic Materials
= Magnets
General Physics
- Scientific Reasoning
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Instructor Guide/Manual
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
= Problem/Problem Set
= Student Guide
- Assessment Material
= Rubric
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- Assessment
- New teachers
• Currently 0.0/5

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Educator
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text/html
application/pdf
Access Rights:
Free access
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Keywords:
field strength, magnetic field experiment, magnetic field strength
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created February 22, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
February 22, 2022 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
July 16, 2012

### Next Generation Science Standards

#### Matter and Its Interactions (HS-PS1)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
• Use the periodic table as a model to predict the relative properties of elements based on the patterns of electrons in the outermost energy level of atoms. (HS-PS1-1)

#### Energy (HS-PS3)

Students who demonstrate understanding can: (9-12)
• Develop and use a model of two objects interacting through electric or magnetic fields to illustrate the forces between objects and the changes in energy of the objects due to the interaction. (HS-PS3-5)

#### Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)

Structure and Properties of Matter (PS1.A)
• The periodic table orders elements horizontally by the number of protons in the atom's nucleus and places those with similar chemical properties in columns. The repeating patterns of this table reflect patterns of outer electron states. (9-12)
Types of Interactions (PS2.B)
• Forces at a distance are explained by fields (gravitational, electric, and magnetic) permeating space that can transfer energy through space. Magnets or electric currents cause magnetic fields; electric charges or changing magnetic fields cause electric fields. (9-12)

#### Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)

Patterns (K-12)
• Empirical evidence is needed to identify patterns. (9-12)

#### NGSS Science and Engineering Practices (K-12)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data (K-12)
• Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data. (9-12)
• Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. (9-12)
• Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including determining function fits to data, slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient for linear fits) to scientific and engineering questions and problems, using digital tools when feasible. (9-12)
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions (K-12)
• Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories. (9-12)
• Construct an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students' own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future. (9-12)
Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (K-12)
• Planning and carrying out investigations in 9-12 builds on K-8 experiences and progresses to include investigations that provide evidence for and test conceptual, mathematical, physical, and empirical models. (9-12)
• Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (9-12)
Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (5-12)
• Mathematical and computational thinking at the 9–12 level builds on K–8 and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions. (9-12)
• Use mathematical representations of phenomena to describe explanations. (9-12)
• Use a computational representation of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations. (9-12)

### AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

#### 4. The Physical Setting

4A. The Universe
• 6-8: 4A/M3. Nine planets of very different size, composition, and surface features move around the sun in nearly circular orbits. Some planets have a variety of moons and even flat rings of rock and ice particles orbiting around them. Some of these planets and moons show evidence of geologic activity. The earth is orbited by one moon, many artificial satellites, and debris.
• 9-12: 4A/H3. Increasingly sophisticated technology is used to learn about the universe. Visual, radio, and X-ray telescopes collect information from across the entire spectrum of electromagnetic waves; computers handle data and complicated computations to interpret them; space probes send back data and materials from remote parts of the solar system; and accelerators give subatomic particles energies that simulate conditions in the stars and in the early history of the universe before stars formed.
4D. The Structure of Matter
• 6-8: 4D/M5. Chemical elements are those substances that do not break down during normal laboratory reactions involving such treatments as heating, exposure to electric current, or reaction with acids. All substances from living and nonliving things can be broken down to a set of about 100 elements, but since most elements tend to combine with others, few elements are found in their pure form.
4F. Motion
• 3-5: 4F/E3. Light travels and tends to maintain its direction of motion until it interacts with an object or material. Light can be absorbed, redirected, bounced back, or allowed to pass through.
• 6-8: 4F/M1. Light from the sun is made up of a mixture of many different colors of light, even though to the eye the light looks almost white. Other things that give off or reflect light have a different mix of colors.
• 6-8: 4F/M6. Light acts like a wave in many ways. And waves can explain how light behaves.
• 6-8: 4F/M8. There are a great variety of electromagnetic waves: radio waves, microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet rays, X-rays, and gamma rays. These wavelengths vary from radio waves, the longest, to gamma rays, the shortest.

#### 12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
• 9-12: 12B/H4. Use computer spreadsheet, graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis of real-world objects and events.
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AIP Format
(Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2008), WWW Document, (https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1).
AJP/PRST-PER
TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance (Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, Boulder, 2008), <https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1>.
APA Format
TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance. (2012, July 16). Retrieved August 6, 2024, from Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering: https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1
Chicago Format
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering. TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, July 16, 2012. https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1 (accessed 6 August 2024).
MLA Format
TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance. Boulder: Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering, 2008. 16 July 2012. 6 Aug. 2024 <https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1>.
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@misc{ Title = {TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance}, Publisher = {Integrated Teaching and Learning Program: Teach Engineering}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {6 August 2024}, Month = {July 16, 2012}, Year = {2008} }
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%T TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance %D July 16, 2012 %I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering %C Boulder %U https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1 %O text/html

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%0 Electronic Source %D July 16, 2012 %T TeachEngineering: Magnetic Fields and Distance %I Integrated Teaching and Learning Program:  Teach Engineering %V 2024 %N 6 August 2024 %8 July 16, 2012 %9 text/html %U https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/rice_magnetic_activity1

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