Magnetic whirligig

Balance is the key!

10 minutes


  • Carefully review the general safety advice on the back of the box cover before starting the experiment.
  • Read the "Magnets and electricity" section of the safety guidelines carefully before proceeding. Do not let children under 8 years old handle small magnets.
  • Disassemble the setup after the experiment.


Dispose of solid waste together with household garbage.

Scientific description

Let's check the attraction  between the magnets . Recall that magnets’ opposite poles attract. When two magnets  are attracted  to each other, they form a new magnet stronger than its component parts. The more components are accrued, the stronger the resulting magnet  will attract  or repel . Surprisingly, the magnets  can interact with each other even through a small obstacle such as thin plywood.

In this experiment, the strong magnet  on top attracts  the one under the holder, keeping it in place. All of them attract  the magnet attached to the rod. This attraction  keeps the rod upright, preventing it from falling or shifting. This position is so stable that the rod doesn’t fall even when you blow on it. Meanwhile, it can rotate freely, since this movement doesn’t change the distance between the interacting magnets .