Make Your Own Electromagnet science experiment : Fizzics Education


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Make Your Own Electromagnet

Make Your Own Electromagnet

Follow FizzicsEd 150 Science Experiments:

You will need:

  • Batteries: one 9V, one 6V, one 1.5V
  • Battery terminals
  • One 60cm insulated wire length
  • One 20cm long Steel rod
  • Paperclips or measured iron weights


Materials needed to make an electromagnet showing a roll of insulated red wire, paper clips, a steel bolt and a variety of battery sizes
1 Stripping the insulated wire

Strip 2cm off both ends of the insulated wire

2 Wrapping insulated wire around a steel bolt

Wrap the wire tightly around the iron bar, keeping the wire loops next to each other. Do this at least 40 times!

3 Attaching wires to a 9V battery

Connect the ends of the wire to the battery terminal and connect the battery.

4 Paperclips attracted to a homemade electromagnet

Try to pick up paperclips using the iron bar. How many can you pick up?

5 Picking up paper clips with a homemade electromagnet

Does the size of the battery make a difference on the amount of weight you can pick up?

6 A man placing his hand on a plasma globe. Energy is streaming out of the tesla coil towards his fingers

Get the Electricity & Magnetism Unit of Work here!

  • How does electricity actually flow?
  • What makes magnets become magnetic?
  • Why is there electromagnetism and what does this tell us about electricity & magnetism?
  • From series & parallel circuits to conductors & insulators, there’s a lot to explore & learn!

Includes cross-curricular teaching ideas, student quizzes, a sample marking rubric, scope & sequences & more.

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7 Lemons and limes with different metals in them, with electrodes connected and leading to voltmeters
8 Teacher showing how to do an experiment outside to a group of kids.

Online courses for teachers & parents

– Help students learn how science really works

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Why Does This Happen?

A magnetic field occurs when electricity passes through a wire. This magnetic field surrounds the wire. Wrapping the wire in a tight coil concentrates the magnetic field in the centre of the coil. The magnetic field faces the same direction throughout the iron bar and you can pick up iron objects.

Variables to test

More on variables here

  • What happens if you wind the coil of wire the opposite way?
  • What happens when you change the battery voltage (do not exceed 9V)
  • Does the thickness of the wire make a difference?
  • What happens if you use uninsulated wire instead?

A man with a glove above a liquid nitrogen vapour cloud

Learn More!


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