Kate's Corner: How magnets work

Close-up Of Person's Hand Holding Blank Yellow Note Sticked On Fridge Door

This Kate's Corner is another science lesson. This lesson, in particular, is over magnets and how they work.

You probably have some of these magnets on your fridge magically holding up photos or invitations. Well, all these different shaped and sized magnets aren't magic. Their somewhat magical powers are all due to their electrons spinning in the same direction which then create an invisible force called magnetism.

This invisible force pulls on metals such as iron and nickel. These objects that are pulled by magnets are then called magnetic and objects that are not pulled on are called nonmagnetic. Some examples of nonmagnetic things are wood, plastic, and even some metals like copper or gold.

Now the ends of the magnets are where the magnetism is the most concentrated and therefore the strongest. We call these ends the "poles." There is the north pole and also the south pole of a magnet. If you put the north and south pole next to each other, they attract or pull together. If you were to put 2 north poles or 2 south poles together, you would have to try extremely hard to get them to touch because like poles repel.

There are examples of magnets everywhere. The earth is even a very big magnet even with its own poles. Don't worry magnetic objects don't get stuck to those poles because the earth's magnetic force is not very strong. The magnet on you fridge is stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. However, this is what birds use to migrate south for the winter or what compasses rely on to point north.