Physics - Magnetism

In this MEL Academy lesson your child will:

  • learn the nature of magnetism
  • make a compass by his own hands
  • assemble an electromagnet

Lesson time

9:00am   PST (San Francisco, Seattle, ...)
10:00am   MST (Phoenix, Denver, ...)
11:00am   CST (Chicago, Houston, ...)
12:00pm   EST (New York, Toronto, ...)
5:00pm   GMT (London, ...)

Lesson duration: 45-55 minutes.

Prepare in advance

In this lesson, we will conduct "Homemade compass and magnetic nail" DIY experiments. Prepare in advance household materials shown below.

DIY Materials

  3x paperclip
  sheet of paper
  sheet of paper towel
  compass app (to determine north and south)
  iron nail or bolt 5-10 cm (2-4 in) long
  the USB cable you don't need (we will cut it) or a wire ~ 50 cm
  2x AA battery


Please, download and print this worksheet in advance. You’ll need to refer to it during the lesson.


This lesson is presented by Alessio Bernardelli:

Alessio Bernardelli

Alessio has 17 years of teaching experience and has worked as Head of KS3 Science for five years. He also worked as Field Development Officer for NGfL Cymru, as Science Subject Lead at TSL Education (TES) and as National Support Programme Partner in Wales with CfBT. Alessio won a number of national and international education awards for the innovative and creative way he integrates emerging technologies in education. One of these awards is the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Education Forum, 2007. Alessio is currently working part-time as an Institute of Physics Coach. He has recently completed an MSc in Teacher Education at the University of Oxford and he is a Chartered Science Teacher (CSciTeach).