Pick-Up Stick Electromagnet Activity

$5.98

Type:

Thwack, Thomp, CRASH – you broke through the crust! The clock is ticking as you race with your electromagnet to gather iron and load it onto the spaceship. This is way more than just a magnet on a stick, your Pick-Up Stick was custom engineered by you with both an electromagnet and a grapple (claw) that grabs soup cans, paper clips, even candy. Made with TeacherGeek's custom aluminum wire, it’s never been easier to make your own super-powerful battery magnet.

Mining in space, hanging paperclips, sorting recyclables – free optional challenges and labs give you plenty of options to customize this activity. Activity Packs include Go Guides to get kids started and encourage innovation. Engage kids like never before as they explore circuits, magnetic materials, and electromagnet design. This activity is a real pick-me-up!


You need a Phillips-head Screwdriver for this activity pack!
Scroll down to "Things You'll Need" for more info.

Age Range

4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18+

Customize this activity for the highlighted ages with tons of free labs and challenges!

This is an educational product and not a toy. Adult supervision is required.

Videos

Documents

Click on the flowchart to view documents from each category.

Go Guide:

Give it to your students and go! This is the essential document to get students started with constructing their Pick-Up Sticks, culminating in the Space Mining Challenge.

Go Guide:
PDF | DOCX
Start here! Build your Pick-Up Stick, evolve your design, and begin the Space Mining Challenge!

Labs:

Magnetic Materials Lab:
PDF | DOCX
Test different materials to see which are magnetic and which are not. Ages 8+.

Challenges:

Space Mining Challenge:
This challenge is embedded right in the Go Guide! You don't need to download any extra documents.
Clip Hanger Challenge:
PDF | DOCX
Redesign your Pick-Up Stick to hang as many paper clips as possible!
Super Sort Challenge:
PDF | DOCX
Sort and separate as many materials as possible!
Engineering Notebooks:
Simple Version
Full Version
Available at two different learning levels, TeacherGeek Engineering Notebooks are designed to help students cycle through the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. We recommend keeping extra copies of this on-hand for kids during activities.

Other Resources:

 

STEM Rubric:
PDF | DOCX
Use the STEM Rubric to assess any TeacherGeek project.
STEAM Market-It Challenge:
PDF | DOCX
Add the STEAM Market-It Challenge to any completed TeacherGeek activity to teach students how to turn their TeacherGeek design into a retail product. Students will learn the 4 'Ps' of marketing - Product, Placement, Price and Promotion. Students have the option of completing a commercial, a billboard or retail packaging as a summative assessment.
Engineering Notebooks:
Simple Version
Full Version
Available at two different learning levels, TeacherGeek Engineering Notebooks are designed to help students cycle through the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. We recommend keeping extra copies of this on-hand for kids during activities.

Things You'll Need

You're going to need some stuff, but don't sweat it! You probably have it already.

Click a tab below to choose how you will complete this activity - that determines what you'll need.

You're using the activity packs you can purchase on this page?
You're in the right tab!

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

optional

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • AA Battery (To power your electromagnet)
  • Bowl
  • Aluminum Foil (optional)
  • Any two of: rice, beans, small candies, crumpled paper
  • Tape
  • Recycling Bin Materials (optional - to incorporate into your design)
You have a Maker Cart?
You're in the right tab!

You will need to pre-cut the dowels for this activity, or your kids can cut them (with adult supervision).

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

optional

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • Aluminum Wire Roll (if you purchased your Maker Cart before summer 2021)
  • AA Battery (To power your electromagnet)
  • Bowl
  • Aluminum Foil (optional)
  • Any two of: rice, beans, small candies, crumpled paper
  • Tape
  • Recycling Bin Materials (optional - to incorporate into your design)
You have Bulk TeacherGeek Components?
You're in the right tab!

Make sure you have the right components - check the Go Guide (see above).

You will need to pre-cut the dowels for this activity, or your kids can cut them (with adult supervision).

TeacherGeek Tools

REQUIRED

Screw Driver

Drive screws into holes.

optional

Slip Joint Pliers

Grab nuts, bend
wires, etc.

optional

Multi-Cutter

Cut dowels, strips,
recycling bin items, etc.

optional

Reamer

Ream splines (teeth),
from holes so
dowels spin freely.

optional

Mini Hammer

Tap dowels into
other components.

Other Supplies

  • AA Battery (To power your electromagnet)
  • Bowl
  • Aluminum Foil (optional)
  • Any two of: rice, beans, small candies, crumpled paper
  • Tape
  • Recycling Bin Materials (optional - to incorporate into your design)

Activity Pack Components

What comes with the Pick-Up Stick?

The table shows what comes in each single kit. To see what comes in a 10-pack, just multiply by 10.
Component Quantity
#10 25mm Screw 5
#10 50mm Screw 3
#10 Hex Nut 5
AA Single Battery Holder 1
Connector Strip 3
Mini Hub Screw 4
Perpendicular Block 2
Small Rubber Band 2
String - 60 cm (24 in) 1
Wire Roll 1

Science, Math & Engineering Standards

TeacherGeek products fit proposals, grants or lesson plans with ease! Explore more resources below:

 

NGSS Standards Spreadsheet:
PDF | DOCX
NGSS standards matrix for all TeacherGeek activities.
ITEEA Standards Spreadsheet:
PDF | DOCX
ITEEA standards matrix for all TeacherGeek activities.