DIY compass

The paper clip is back on track!

15 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

Since the paper clip is made of a ferromagnetic material, it becomes a magnet itself when exposed to an external magnetic field.

Did you know that our Earth is itself a huge magnet? This is why the magnetized paper clip turns: it detects the Earth’s magnetic field and aligns itself accordingly. Notice how the magnetic paper clip turns exactly like a compass needle