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The presenter learns about the poles on each end of a magnet. One end is the north pole and the other is the south pole. She demonstrates how the magnetic fields of like poles push each other apart whereas unlike poles attract each other. If a piece of steel is placed between the ends of the magnets both the north and south poles are attracted to the steel.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
17 May 2007

Classroom Ideas

Ask students to examine permanent magnets in more detail. They could use iron filings to investigate magnetic fields round a range of magnets. They should report back to the class on how the shape and size of a magnet, and any other factors they can think of, affect the magnetic field. This could be linked to applications of both permanent and electromagnets.
Our planet has a North Pole and South Pole. Ask students if this means that Earth is one giant magnet? Challenge them to investigate how a compass works. How is it affected by a magnet? Understand how a compass helps us navigate the Earth.