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Magnet Car
Lab 1 - Magnets and Movement

Teacher Portal


Launch the Engage Section

ACTS is what the teacher will do and ASKS is how the teacher will facilitate.

  1. Put a magnetic object (ex. A metal ruler) into a brown paper bag. Invite each student to reach into the bag without looking and describe what he/she is feeling and guess what it could be. Write their guesses on the board.
  2. Use one of the magnets and place it on one side of the bag. Release your hand, so the metal in the bag is “holding up” the magnet. Discuss and have students make additional guesses.
  3. Show them the object inside the bag.  Ask students to describe the object, including what it is made of.
  4. Discuss where students have seen magnets before at home or in school and how they are used.
  5. Try to attach a non magnetic object to the magnet.
  6. Have students describe in their own words what kinds of things can stick to a magnet. 
  1. What do you think is in the bag? What do you think it is made of?
  2. Do you want to change your guess? What do you see that makes you say that?
  3. Can you describe this object? What is it made of?
  4. Where have you seen magnets before?
  5. Why do you think the magnet won't stick to this object? 
  6. What kinds of things can stick to a magnet?

Getting the Students Ready to Build

We are going to build a Magnet Car to test different objects for magnetism. Then, we will use magnets to “power” our Magnet Car!

Facilitate the Build

  1. InstructInstruct students to join their team, and have them complete the Robotics Roles & Routines Checklist. Use the Suggested Role Responsibilities slide in the Lab Image Slideshow as a guide for students to complete this sheet.
  2. DistributeDistribute build instructions to each team. Journalists should gather the materials on the checklist.

    Magnet Car Build
    Magnet Car Build

  3. FacilitateFacilitate building process.
    1. Builders can begin building.
    2. Journalists should assist with build instructions as needed and complete the Roles & Routines Checklist.
  4. OfferOffer suggestions and note positive team building and problem solving strategies as teams build together.
A VEX GO character

Teacher Troubleshooting

Facilitation Strategies

  • Ask students to refer to their Robotics Roles and Routines in order to plan for how they will work together. What are their responsibilities?
  • Familiarize yourself with the magnets you will be using that do not come with the kit. Determine which side is North and which side is South. This will be helpful when moving the Magnet Car.
  • For the Play Part 2 activity, you can set up a challenge course for students by connecting Tiles in a 1X4 formation to create a long rectangle, then use tape to mark the start and the finish line of the challenge course. If using Tiles doesn’t work for your learning environment, simply use masking tape on the floor to mark the beginning and end of the challenge course. The starting point and finish line should be at least 1 Meter apart.