Thank you for your interest in Classroom Outreach from the National MagLab. To request an outreach, please complete our online Outreach Request Form. Please sign up for our Educator's Club to keep up with all of our events. If you would ike to request to borrow materials, please see our Classroom Kits page. If you would like a tour of the MagLab, please see our Public Tours page.
Our extensive classroom outreach programs reach more than 4,000 students each year. Teachers can choose from diverse outreach topics that will give students a hands-on experience with science.
If you're interested in an outreach activity conducted here at the lab in conjunction with a tour, please see our Field Trips and Tours page.
- We offer a series of specially designed, hands-on lessons
- Each session features hands-on, inquiry-based activities
- Outreach is done for individual classes, one at a time, up to six classes per day (maximum 30 students per class)
- School-wide assembly presentations are not available
- Visits are tailored to your specific needs
- Each lesson usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour
- We provide downloadable pre/post materials in PDF format that can improve students' understanding of the concepts
- All activities are correlated to Florida's Sunshine State Standards
- Outreach is available on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only
- Classroom outreach must be scheduled 15-60 days before the requested date
- Field Trips must be scheudled 15 days and up to one year ahead of the requested date
- The list of standards covered by each outreach can be found on the last page of the pre/post materials
Choose from one of the lessons below, or call us to customize a program to meet your specific needs. Please be prepared to stay with your class at all times during the outreach. Our educators are not responsible for the class, and therefore the regular room teacher must be present. In cases of a substitute, call ahead to the Center so that proper arrangements can be made.
Build an Electromagnet
4-5 6-8 9-12
By combining items commonly found in and around your house, you can create an electromagnet. In this activity students are given the items and the basic directions for creating an electromagnet that is strong enough to pick up paper clips. They are then encouraged to modify their magnets and note the effects that each change brings to the strength of the magnet.
Science often presents some interesting principles, and this outreach is the investigation of one of them. It builds on the principles covered in Build an Electromagnet, challenging students to create a small electric motor in order to understand the basics of most electric motors.
Electricity, Static & Currents
4-5 6-8 9-12
The motion of charged particles creates magnetic fields, but the actual motion of these particles is just as important as the fields they create. This activity shows students what electricity is and how it travels. Students will create series circuits and parallel circuits using light bulbs as test units. Then they will observe a Van de Graaff generator creating electric sparks that can be used to transfer charges.
After a short introduction detailing the composition and principles of magnets, students are encouraged to experiment with magnets of different compositions, shapes and sizes. This exploration allows them to make discoveries about magnets through hands-on activities that highlight the principles of magnetism.
Nature of Science: Observations and Inferences
Science is not the memorizations of facts. Science is a way of thinking, and scientific knowledge is subject to change as new information is learned. Scientists collect evidence through use observations. This evidence can challenge or support notions of how the world around us works. This activity will use evidence as a basis to distinguish between an observation and an inference.
Nature of Science: What Is a Scientist
This outreach: introduces students to the subject of science; explains what scientists and engineers do; and encourages students to think about the way they view science. Then students use their observational skills to explore magnets of different shapes and sizes, and make some amazing discoveries.
During our visit we will discuss optics, refraction, and the colors of visible light, then the students will use spectrum (diffraction grating) glasses to observe the different spectra. Using a spectral analysis chart, they will be asked to analyze their data.
* Requires dark room and use of overhead projector.
Superconductivity (Field Trips only)
Students drive a discussion on principles and properties of magnets, then construct their own electromagnets and test them. After discussing the variables that affect the strength of their magnets, they will use liquid nitrogen to see how temperature is the ultimate variable when dealing with electromagnets. The lesson concludes with an explanation and demonstration of the Meissner Effect.