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How to Build an Electric Motor


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Keywords: 6th grade science, electric motor
Subject(s): Social Skills, Writing, English/Language Arts, Science, Math
Grade 6
School: Boiling Springs Intermediate, Boiling Springs, SC
Planned By: Susan Jennings
Original Author: Susan Jennings, Boiling Springs
Warm Up: Watch Brain Pop video on Electric motors. Take notes.

Today's question: How can we build a working electric motor?

Today we will be using 2 inch coiled wire, 2 paperclips, electrcial tape, a battery, and several small magnets.

Predict: Look at today's materials. In your science notebook predict what we are doing today. Remember to use "I predict we are going to............. . I belive this because............. . " Allow students time to write predictions. Allow volunteers to share predictions.

Give out materials. ( Per group: 2 inch coiled wire, 2 paperclips, electrcial tape, a battery, several small magnets). Tell students to build a working electric motor.

Allow students time to explore the materials. After 5-10 minutes, use document camera to show students how to get started. ( First uncoil the paper clips.) Let students explore. If all groups are stuck on what to do next, use document camera to show next step. (Second, make a small circle on one end of each paperclip.) OR if one group figures out the next step, deem that group "experts" and allow them to use the document camera to show other students what to do.Repeat process with each step. (Third, tape paerclips to each end of the battery. Fourth, put one magnet on the battery under the paper clips. FIfth, put the coiled wire in the the loops on the paper clips. The "motor" -coil- will turn due to the push and pull of the magetic fields.) What happens as you add more magnets? TIme how many times the motor turns in 30 seconds with one magnet. Repeat with each added magnet.

Observe: Have students write what they observed in the experiement. Examples: "I noticed when I put one magent on the battery, the coil started to turn." " I noticed group two's motor was not turning because they had the paperclip off of the bulb end of the battery." Allow volunteers to share what they observed.

Graph how many times the motor turned in 30 seconds with one magnet, 2 magnets, 3 magnets, and 4 magnets

Explain: Have students write a lab report on today's lab.
(1) Title-in the form of a question
(2) Hypothesis/prediction- I predict... I belive this because...
(3) List materials - what we used
(4) Write procedures-step by step directions on how to do the lab
(5) Results/Observations/Graphing- what did you notice? graph results of various magnets
(6) Explanation-why did that happen the way it did
(7) Conculsion-was your hypothesis correct?what did you learn

Closing; Return materials. Allow vollunteeers to share parts 5,6, and 7 of their lab report.


Cross-Curriculum Ideas
graphing (math), how to write a lab report (English, writing), where habitats are located in the world (geography),
Follow-Up
Builiding an electromagnet, how to read a spring scale, showing the reproductive parts of plants, how to build pulley systems, how to build an electric circuit, how to use Morris Code with an electric circuit,
Materials: Camera/Video Accessories
Other Items: 1 document camera, $999.00 each, total of $999.00