Magnetic Fields

Students visualize the magnetic field of a strong permanent magnet using a compass. The lesson begins with an analogy to the effect of the Earth's magnetic field on a compass. Students see the connection that the compass simply responds to the Earth's magnetic field since it is the closest, strongest field, and thus the compass responds to the field of the permanent magnets, allowing them the ability to map the field of that magnet in the activity. This information will be important in designing a solution to the grand challenge in activity 4 of the unit.