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3rd Grade Students Have “Magnetic” Science Lesson

Students in Rachel Green’s third grade class at Roxboro Road Elementary School recently completed a hands-on, two-part lesson about electromagnetic energy. In the first part, students worked in teams to design a magnetic trash-sorting tool. The tool is a model of a device that could be used to separate steel from classroom trash. Students were provided with a set of specific criteria for success and design constrains.

In the second part of this lesson, students worked in teams to build their model trash-sorting devices. Each group evaluated the success of their model by counting how many steel objects were moved and how many other objects were moved to the recycling container. They considered which parts of their design were successful and identified failure points. The class compared all designs, looking for common successful features and discussed how the magnetic forces were used in the designs.