Simple Motor

Skewer a coil of magnet wire to create a simple spinning motor! A spinning rotor needs an axle that is rigid with the ends in perfect alignment. Difficult to arrange with wire that is flexible enough to form a coil, but automatically provided by a toothpick! The motor converts electrical energy into kinetic energy – the energy of motion.


Grades Covered: 4 through 12
Subjects Covered: Physical Science

Curriculum topics:
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism
  • Electromagnetism
  • Motors
  • Experimental Variables
  • Energy and Matter
  • Cause and Effect
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Standards

Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.

  • Plan & carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled & failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Elementary||Engineering Design

  • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 4||Physical Science||Energy
  • Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. [Examples : electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints: materials, cost, or design time.] ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 4||Physical Science||Energy
  • Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 4||Science and Engineering Practices
  • Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Grade 5||Science and Engineering Practices
  • Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Engineering Design
  • Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Engineering Design
  • Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Physical Science||Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact. [Assessment is limited to electric and magnetic fields, and limited to qualitative evidence for the existence of fields.] ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Physical Science||Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||Middle School||Science and Engineering Practices
  • Plan & conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field & that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current. ||Next Generation Science Standards||High School||Physical Science||Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • Design, build, & refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.||Next Generation Science Standards||High School||Physical Science||Energy
  • Science and Engineering Practices: 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information ||Next Generation Science Standards||High School||Science and Engineering Practices

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