Magnets and motors (KS3, KS4)

This is a hands-on history of electromagnetism and how it led to the invention of the motor.

  • Credit: Royal Institution


  • Key Stage 3

  • Key Stage 4


This workshop is set in a historical context but in a series of hands on activities, students will dramatically improve their understanding of how magnetism and electricity are linked and the important electromagnetic principles which drive our modern world.

Following a practical reminder of basic magnetic principles students will see how liquids can be magnetised. After making an electromagnet and a demonstration of Faraday’s original electric motor they will build a simple battery powered motor that uses similar principles. Finally the students will be challenged to build a working DC motor.

This workshop can be adapted and augmented for primary and post-16 students.

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