Single SKU: 1824-71
10 Pack SKU: 1824-61
Your mission: Design and build a crane that can best sort magnetic materials for recycling. Start by making and experimenting with an electromagnet, then create a crane to move it. Test the crane using the scientific method. Evolve the crane through the engineering design process. How many magnetic items can you sort in two minutes? Compete against other cranes, or challenge yourself in the Super Sort Engineering and Design Challenge.
Use found (recycling bin) materials to enhance your crane design or as sorting material for the Engineering & Design Challenge. Each activity provides plenty of extra parts to try different designs and continue to tinker. This activity is a real “pick me up.”
Electromagnet Crane Educational Goals
- Utilize the design and engineering process
- Encourage creativity, critical thinking and problem solving
- Learn about electromagnetism, magnetic fields, and simple machines
- Apply the scientific method
- Innovate (design, build and evolve your own unique Crane design)
Electromagnet Activity Document Downloads
A quick overview document guides you through this electrifying and magnetic STEM activity and how to incorporate the supporting Lab documents, Build Guides, and Engineering Challenges. Or if you would rather do this activity "Just for Fun", download the quick and easy All-in-One document.
Make It Your Own: The documents for this activity are available in PDF and Microsoft Word format. If you wish to edit a document, simply download the Microsoft Word format.
For Fun & All-in-One
Download the All-in-One Document
This document has everything you need to do the Electromagnet Crane Activity "Just for Fun". Starting with the Magnet Build and the Crane Build, this document then goes straight into the Design & Engineering Challenges.
Looking for something with a little more classroom clout, check out the "In School" section below for classroom-ready document downloads.
Download the Overview
Brief overview about the TeacherGeek Electromagnet documents, activity procedure, concepts, vocabulary, background information, and supplementary resources.
Download the Electromagnet Build Guide with a Lab
During this step you will begin starting the build of your electromagnet (the part with the metal, battery, and wire). Once the electromagnet is started, students learn how more “wraps” of electrical wire around a screw, when powered by the battery, improves a magnetic field in the lab. Students will test magnetic and non-magnetic materials with their electromagnet and record their findings.
Download the Crane Build for the Electromagnet
Now that the electromagnet is built, during this guide you will create the example crane body and attach your electromagnet to it.
The example crane works, but not very well. Building the example will give the understanding required to turn it in to your own unique design (a better design). Redesign the crane to solve engineering challenges.
Download the Engineering Challenges
What do you need to know about an engineering challenge? First… you are never done. Every design can be improved, so students should be working on improving their crane until the very last available second.
Design, build, test and evolve different crane configurations during these engineering challenges. Experiment with things like how your crane connects, moves, what material it is made from, the possibilities are endless!
Download the "In The Bucket" Challenge
Get as many paper clips into a cup as you can.
Download the "Clip Hanger" Challenge
Hang as many paper clips as you can.
Download the "Super Sort" Challenge
Sort as much magnetic and non-magnetic materials as you can in the "Super Sort" arena. Printable arenas available for Single Player or go head-to-head in the Two Player Arena.
Download the Challenge Scorecard
Use this simple scorecard to keep track of student progress and Points for Electromagnet Competitions.
Challenge Scorecard - PDF
Download the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook
Available at two different learning levels, the TeacherGeek Engineering Notebook is designed to help students cycle thru the Design & Engineering Process and help them innovate and invent new designs. Use an Engineering Notebook page for each iteration of design. It is recommended that extra pages are printed and on-hand during activities.
Other useful resources:
- Scrap Metal being unloaded with an Electromagnet
- Fun Video of an Electromagnet picking up Scrap
- Exploding Soda Cans with an Electromagnet
- Using an Electromagnet to Sort Cans
- How Magnets Work
TeacherGeek Tools You'll Need
What tools will you need to do this activity?
Cutting dowels, strips, recycling bin items, etc.
Saw, Pruning Shears
Change splined holes in components from press fit (dowels press and stay) to loose fit (dowels are able to slide and rotate).
#3 Drill Bit and Drill
Tighten and loosen screws
Holding and Pulling
Hold nuts, pull apart components
|Wire Stripping||Strip (remove) wire insulation||None|
Additional Supplies Needed to Build an Electromagnet Crane: This activity requires AA batteries, tape, scissors, magnetic and non-magnetic materials (paperclips, binder clips, erasers, etc.).
Make your Electromagnet Crane even better by incorporating recycling bin material.
Electromagnet Crane Components
What's in the Electromagnet Crane Activity?
|Component:||10pk Quantity:||Single Quantity:|
|3in Slide Stop||10||1|
|#6 1/4in Screws||20||2|
|Battery Holder (2 AA)
w/ Switch & Leads
This is an educational product and not a toy. It is intended for use by ages 9 and above with adult supervision.