The magnetic force can pass through many different substances. Magnets
can attract many things, the strength of the magnet is measured by its
movement. Magnets can pass through wood and cardboard, while a magnetic
force field can also pass through water.
Make it work
There are two types of magnetic boats. The cork boat and the balsawood
boat. A cork boat can work using magnet to magnet attraction. The
magnets on the boat should be close to the water container, so the boats
can be pulled around. The balsawood boat has thumbtacks that pushes its
keel. A stronger magnet with a force field is needed to attract through
You will need
- colored poster board
- door magnets
- balsa wood
- metal thumbtacks
- paper clips
- waterproof glue
- strong magnets
- wooden skewer
- glass baking dish
To make the cork boats
- Create the sails out of poster board. You can make one triangular sail
by cutting out two triangles and sticking them back to back with a wire
mast in the middle.
- To create a more complex rig, cut a rectangle of poster board
diagonally, leaving enough poster board on the long outside edge to make
two tabs. Attach the sail to a piece of wire with these tabs.
- Push the wire mast into a cork. Top the mast with a flag made from a folded strip of
paper of a contrasting color.
- Unbend a paper clip. Push one end into the underside of
the cork and glue a small door magnet onto the other end, using
To make the balsa-wood boat
- Ask an adult to help you cut a deck and keel out of
- Stick a wooden skewer into the center of the deck to make a mast.
- Create sails and flags as for the cork boats, but in a larger size.
- Glue the boat together with waterproof glue and paint it. Push three
thumbtacks into the bottom of the keel.
To make the buoys
Put a short piece of wire into a cork and top it with a colored flag.
Stick a door magnet to the bottom of the cork with waterproof glue.