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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Standard 7.1.4: Collect and analyze data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. Examples could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.  

Student Friendly Objective: I can collect and analyze data to identify factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.

Anchor Phenomenon: Wrecking Yard Electromagnets can be turned on and off as needed, allowing a huge amount of metal items to be transferred with little time and energy used.

Big Idea: The strength of electric or magnetic forces can be changed.

Students are engaged as they observe electromagnets in action. They develop a model to represent what is happening between the electromagnet and the scrap metal. 

Students explore what causes electric forces to change as they use electrostatically charged PVC pipe to repel and levitate plastic bag rings. They will begin to recognize that various factors will affect the strength of the electric force.

Students explain how the amount of charge affects the strength of the force as they use computer simulations. They will interpret their data from these investigations to see that distance between objects affects the force between them. They will also investigate how different types of magnets and/or number of these magnets can affect the strength of a magnetic force.

Students elaborate on their knowledge as they investigate homopolar motors and electromagnets. This is an application of what they have been learning to show that people have harnessed this phenomenon to apply it to uses in society. This elaboration includes ways to increase the strength of electromagnets.

Students are evaluated as they consider a new scenario about a sweater from the dryer that has a sock stuck to it. They have to explain how the force was created, why the sock sticks to the sweater, and how to keep the sock from sticking to the sweater. They also apply their knowledge to a Maglev Train and explain how the force there can be reduced or increased.

Storyline Narrative 7.1.4

You found the secret message! Huzzah!

Conceptual Understandings

Electromagnets are able to be turned on and off as needed. In other words, the strength of an electromagnet can be changed.

How can forces be changed?

Snapshot

Students observe Wrecking Yard Electromagnets move large amounts of metal objects from one place to another.

Episode 1

Question

How does an electromagnet move metal from one area to another?

 

Episode 2

Question

How can forces be changed?

Snapshot

Students observe the effect static electricity can have on water and a plastic bag ring and are challenged to create a greater static electric force than their classmates.

Conceptual Understandings

Static electricity is another force that can have an effect on objects that do not touch each other. Materials and amount of charge built up can affect the strength of the force.

How can we make forces stronger or weaker?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Charged objects will only be attracted up to a certain distance. When an object has a greater electric charge, it can attract objects over a greater distance.

Are some materials able to have greater charges?

Snapshot

Students use computer simulations to determine how distance affects the electric force between two objects.

Episode 3

Question

How can we make forces stronger or weaker?

 

Episode 4

Question

Are some materials able to have greater charges?

Episode 5

Question

What are some applications of these forces?

Episode 6

Question

How can the strength of an electromagnet be changed?

Snapshot

Students investigate the effects of different magnets or different numbers of magnets on the force exerted on a BB.

Snapshot

Students investigate how a homopolar motor works.

Snapshot

Students will investigate how to increase the strength of an electromagnet.

Conceptual Understandings

Some types of magnets are stronger than others, and adding magnets increases magnetic force.

What are some applications of these forces?

 

Conceptual Understandings

A homopolar motor creates movement because it generates movement as a current is able to flow.

How can the strength of an electromagnet be changed?

 

Conceptual Understandings

An electromagnet’s strength can be increased by increasing the number of coils present or by increasing the amount of electricity.