Science for Kids/magnets


what is the link between, a compass, a vending machine, the maglev train and and magnet

Hi Andrea

Do you know how a compass works?  It points to the magnetic north because it is actually a very lightweight magnet!  If you run a bar (or other magnet) against a compass, you can change the direction the needle points in.

A vending machine often uses a magnet to tell the difference between fake coins and real coins.  Some use a magnetic reader to detect the ink on $ bills to determine the amount of $ each bill is and to determine that is it is real.

Maglev trains work via magnets also - I'll let you look that one up for yourself.

Hope this helps!


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I can answer elementary and middle school level general science questions, as well as questions on high school level biology, environmental science, and animal science.


I have worked at general science centers as well as nature and environmental education centers, and use inquiry based approach to teaching.

BA - Environmental biology, MsED in progress

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