Have you ever wondered how an electromagnetic crane in a junkyard works? How it is able to pick up a car, move it across the junkyard, and then drop it off? How is this magnet able to turn off and on? In Cyber Literacy, you can explore how these cranes work by creating your own miniature electromagnetic crane in the classroom.
In order to make this crane, you will need the following items:
1. Cut off a strip of copper wire about 12″ long and strip the ends of the wire.
2. Wrap the wire tightly around the bolt as shown below.
3. Attach the ends of the wire to your battery (please note this is shorting out the circuit, so use caution when connecting the wire to the battery as it will get very hot). When you do this, you are magnetizing the bolt because the electricity is flowing through the coiled wire creating a magnetic field like below.
4. With the ends of the wires attached to the battery, place the bolt near a pile of paperclips and notice how they will stick to the bolt very similar to an electromagnetic crane. You have just created your own crane.
If you would like to better understand how this project works as well as other projects that deal with electricity, explore the Cyber Literacy curriculum for free.
BONUS ACTIVITY: Have you ever heard of the Maglev Train? A train that is magnetically suspended in the air that travels at over 310 miles per hour? If you would like to create your own small version of the Maglev Train, follow the instructions on this video.