Join students Sophie, Tomás, Emma, and Marcus during Fifth Period! This STEM comic strip chronicles the exciting and often hilarious adventures of a close-knit group of four friends as they learn about science, technology, engineering, and math from their kooky, inspiring, off-the-wall science teacher, Mr. Kepler. When they're not in class, these kids love to explore the vast world of STEM on their own, launching weather balloons, programming computer games, and cataloging insects, sometimes with unpredictable and highly entertaining results!
Check back on the first and third Friday of every month for a new Fifth Period strip!
An Attractive Solution
Hooray! They’ve rescued Robodog with the magnet…. Now, how are they going to get him off of that thing?
Magnets are great for things other than saving mechanical pets from high places. In fact, you’re probably using bunches of magnets in your house right now. Just go check your refrigerator door. But, what’s actually going on here? What is this invisible force—magnetism—that attracts certain metallic objects to one another?
As you may already know, all matter is made up of particles called atoms, and atoms are made up of even smaller particles, like electrons. (Remember learning about those?) Electrons tend move around their atoms’ nucleus in an unsynchronized manner, but in some materials—like certain metals—the electrons will move in the same direction, and that’s when magnetism occurs! Learn more about how magnets work here.
Try it yourself!
Did you know that the Earth is a giant magnet? That’s because its core is a mixture of metals that give the planet a magnetic field. Earth actually has a magnetic North Pole and South Pole. That’s how compasses work: The magnetic needle inside is attracted to the North Pole and will try to align to it. Go here to find out how to make your own compass!