Each field trip and Tour visit starts with an hour-long tour, led by a MagLab scientist or a professional educator from the MagLab's Center for Integrating Research & Learning. Highlights of the tour include the magnet shop, the world-record hybrid magnet, and the world's strongest MRI magnet. Students see real-world scientific research being conducted at a national science research facility, learn about how electromagnets work and understand how high magnetic field research impacts many disciplines from physics and materials science to biology and chemistry.
Following the tour, a Center educator will engage your students in a hands-on activity related to the tour. Covering topics from magnetism to electricity to molecules, these activities challenge students to ask and answer questions about the world around them. Sessions are tailored to specific grade levels and last from 45 minutes to an hour. Choose from one of the activities listed below, or call us to customize a program to meet your specific needs.
These visits can be arranged on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays. Please plan to spend a total of two hours for the tour and field trip activity combined. Be prepared to stay with your students at all times during their visit to the lab; our educators and tour guides are not responsible for the class. Field Trips and Tours activities are only available for fifth grade classes and higher.
Fill out a MagLab Field Trip application now.
Field Trips and Tours Activities
Build an Electromagnet: Turn Magnets On & Off
4-5 6-8 9-12
Combining items commonly found in and around your house, you can create an electromagnet. 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.
Electricity, Static & Currents: The Power All Around Us
4-5 6-8 9-12
The motion of charged particles creates magnetic fields, but the actual motion of those particles is just as important as the fields they create. This activity aims to show what electricity is and how it travels. Students will create series circuits and parallel circuits using light bulbs as test units, then will see a Van de Graaff generator create electric sparks that can be used to transfer charges.
Superconductivity: A Matter of Temperature
4-5 6-8 9-12
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
Preparing for your Visit
The above activities feature downloadable Pre/Post Materials to be used prior to and following your visit to the MagLab. We encourage teachers to take advantage of these materials, which help students prepare for and retain the subject matter covered during your class’s visit.