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2019 - Term Two - Week Six - Electromagnetic Magic!



Kia ora

My name is Lenny, I just turned 9 and I started STEM Club this term and LOVE it! We are lucky as our group has the best teacher…Hamish! Hamish was in a very good mood today. =)

Today we built our own electromagnetic station.

We did this in three parts:

  1. Building the station:

We each got given a battery pack, a terminal block (chocolate block), a wooden base and screws:


First, we screwed the chocolate block onto the wooden base,

connected the wires from the battery pack to it and glued the battery pack on.

Next, we needed to do some ‘tampering’ with sandpaper, just like the Ozzie cricket player =) Watch Arya and Reuben on the photo below: 

In our case we did not do this to cheat, but to remove the coating from the coil – ie we bared the wires of the coil before we wound it around a big nail.

We then created an open circuit by connecting the wire ends to the chocolate block, one negative one positive. Then we put our ‘switch’ (= little insulated nail) in the right spot on the chocolate block to close the current AND tadaaaa…with the closed circuit we could pick up a paper clip with the nail!


  1. Creating an electromagnetic solenoid

We did this by tampering with (sanding ends) and rolling up another long piece of coil around a paper straw. We took it off the straw and had a little wire tunnel which we connected to the chocolate box. By connecting the ‘switch’ to that we could hold and move the nail inside the tunnel…very cool!



  1. We then created an electromagnetic Motor

Yes, we did more ‘coil tampering’ – i.e. bared the ends of another 4 meters of coil - which we then rolled into a circle, this is the blue wire you can see in the picture below.

Hamish then did his magic and attached this on a piece of wooden stick that he had soldered before. 


We then had to screw the circle shaped wires onto the two wooden blocks on the base and fit the stick with the blue coil in there.

And yes, you guessed right, in order for this to create a circuit later we had to connect the cables to the chocolate block. Look at Aria working away.


Then something cool happened: We got given three magnets each, and by ‘switching’ on the circuit for this and holding the magnets next to the blue wire thingy, this started to rotate very fast! Tadaaa-  our motor was finished.



Thanks to all the preparation that Nigel did before the class (assembling the terminal block, preparing the cables and wires etc) we finished in time to have a good play with our station. THANK YOU NIGEL! =)


During class we got slightly distracted by two visitors in the backyard:

- a very cute cat. Hmmm, maybe this is Nigel’s?

- my not-so-cute older sister…what the heck is she doing?!?



I really like STEM Club, as I learn something new every week and I love tinkering and creating things.

My mum says she also learns a lot by helping me during class. She hopes that one day we will build a Flux capacitator…REALLY, she enjoys STEM Club so much she wrote the draft of this blog and I only kind of signed it off…


I wish I could do STEM Club every day! Thank you Hamish and Nigel – you are awesome sharing your knowledge with us and making it so fun.


By Lenny (and his mum Susanne)