Make your own compass and experiment with real Lodestone, the naturally "magnetized" rock that enabled the invention of the first compass!
Lodestone, often referred to as magnetite, is a naturally magnetic stone which led to the invention of the first compass almost 2,000 years ago. As a navigational aid, the compass enabled ocean voyagers to travel to specific destinations like never before. Lacking the compass, the great voyages of discovery may never have taken place--Columbus, De Gama, Magellan and all the rest. The history of the world might have been quite different!
Kids will enjoy all 3 phases of this unique activity kit! First, allow them to explore the magnetic qualities of lodestone by setting out metallic and non-metallic materials and let the discovery begin! Next, as a group you will build a simple working compass. Finally, each participant will make a real, working compass necklace of their very own.
Ages 7 and up.
Unit Goals and Concepts:
- Discover what lodestone is and how it led to the creation of the compass.
- Learn about magnets and the magnetic properties of the earth.
- Demonstrate the magnetic properties of lodestone with the materials we include for a large, "group" compass.
- Create compass necklaces that each participant can use and take home
- Pieces of lodestone, along with paperclips to demonstrate magnetic properties.
- Supplies for making a "wet compass" with your group.
- A "blank" compass, plus other materials for each participant to create his or her own compass necklace. We even include reproducible "cutouts" with compass instructions that each participant can attach to the back of his or her compass.
- Our exclusive instructor's activity guide that provides instructors with everything they need to teach about lodestone and compasses; it also includes suggestions for additional activities.
- The only materials you supply are crayons or markers.
General: National Science Education Standard NS.K-4.2 Physical Science.
Content Standard B: Light, Heat, Electricity, and Magnetism (K-4)
Magnets attract and repel each other and certain kinds of other materials.
Specific (California standards):
(4.1b) Students know how to build a simple compass and use it to detect magnetic effects, including Earth’s magnetic field.
(4.1f) Students know that magnets have two poles (north and south) and that like poles repel each other while unlike poles attract each other.