Lesson 3

The Attraction is Obvious: Designing Maglev Systems

A Magnetic Personality / Grade 5 / Hollywood, FL

The EIE Curriculum

EiE - The Attraction is Obvious: Designing Maglev Systems, L3

Students engage in several experiments to learn more about the properties of magnets. 

Reflection Questions

What do you notice about the way Kelly’s students behave in groups and handle self-directed task?

Kelly has fostered a culture of independence and responsibility; her students have the freedom to explore what interests them.

  • Kelly supplies the materials and directions for each station in a bag and students are able to read directions and conduct experiments independently. (0:48)
  • As students work, Kelly is free to move between groups, asking questions and supporting individual learning. (2:24)
  • Kelly’s students explore playfully and appropriately at each station. They expand their explorations beyond what is included in the direction sheets. (2:10 and 3:03)

How does exploration at the magnet stations help prepare and motivate students for the design challenge in Lesson 4?

Although Kelly’s students have studied magnets in the past, Lesson 3 directs them to apply knowledge to particular situations.

  • The magnetic sailing station introduces the idea that magnets can be used to solve real-world problems. One student muses that real boats might be able to be moved with magnets. (1:54)
  • Students explore the power of magnets to move things, including using the repelling force to push magnets along a desk or up into the air. This feature of magnets becomes critical when designing a maglev vehicle. (2:03 and 2:28)
  • Several students investigate whether magnetic fields can pass through paper or plastic. This property becomes important when choosing construction materials for their trains in Lesson 4. (3:05)
  • Finally, the explorations make them want to try to building their own maglev transportation systems. (2:11)