how to make compass project

How to Make Compass

How to make compass : The floating needle will behave like a compass, with one end always pointing to magnetic north. A story is told that this is the same type of compass used by Christopher Columbus. Since the metal needle of the time were poor, Columbus had a lodestone to remagnetize his floating needle.

A bar magnet will affect the floating needle in the same way it did the compass. By moving the bar magnet under the dish, the children can discover that magnetism goes through water.

how to make compass

Material Needed

  1. Plastic aluminum, or glass bowl
  2. Non magnetized needle
  3. Small piece of plastic foam
  4. Compass
  5. Water
  6. Bar magnet


  1. Is the needle a magnet? Don’t guess. Device a way to find out.
  2. Rub the needle 30 time in the same direction with the bar magnet. Is the needle a magnet now?
  3. Fill the bowl partly full of water.
  4. Stick the needle through the plastic foam ant float in the pan of water.
  5. Point the needle in different direction, then allow it to settle.
how to make compass project diagram

compass project diagram

Observe: What happened?  Can you see a relation to the compass? What can you see about this?

For Critical thinker: if you were lost in the wood and you didn’t have a compass, but you had a small bar magnet or a magnetized needle, what would you do to find your direction? , what would you like to create a story about that?  Try it-it will be fun.

INTEGRATING: Social studies SKILL: Observing, inferring, predicting, communicating.

See also:

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