What You Do:
Explore how scale models are built and used.
Learn about and apply magnetic properties.
Implement the engineering design process to problem solve.
Build a magnetically levitating “train”.
What You Need:
Cardboard Box ( 12” by 3”, 1 per group plus 1 extra )
Paper Cups ( 3-5 oz, 1-2 per group )
Single Pole Strip Magnet ( 1/2”, 2 feet per group )
Disk Magnets ( 3/4”, 4-6 per group )
Ring Magnets ( 4-6 per group )
Bar Magnets ( 2-4 per group )
Foam Tray ( 6” by 8”, 2 per group )
Manilla Folders ( 2-3 per group )
Masking Tape ( 1 roll )
Play Money (5$, 10 bills per group )
Overhead Transparency ( 1 per class )
MagLev Train Worksheet ( 1 per student )
MagLev Train Presentation ( 1 per group )
While most trains use wheels to travel on their tracks, magnets offer an alternative mode of movement that has some distinct advantages. There is no friction, no turbulence, and the tracks are significantly less affected by weather. However, building a train that “floats” has its challenges as well. The train must be kept aligned with the magnetic field, and the field must be strong enough to suspend the often hefty train cars.