Science of Attraction

Discover why when it comes to magnets opposites attract.


things you will need

  • 4 x magnets
  • 2 x pieces of card (two colours)
  • Tape
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • 1 x grown-up (see safety notice)

safety notice

  • Keep magnets out of reach of small children who may put them in their mouth.
  • Magnets can also interfere with electronic devices, so keep them away from phones and other screens.

Make the hearts

  • Take the two pieces of card and fold them in half – one on top of the other.
  • Draw half a heart shape, with the straight edge being the fold.
  • Cut along the outline to reveal your two heart shapes.

Prepare the sliders

  • Cut four same-sized strips using the remaining card.
  • Lay the magnets out, on the end of each strip of card.
  • IMPORTANT: Make sure that for each pair of red and blue strips, the magnetic poles facing upwards are opposite. For instance, Blue – North, Red – South.

Stick down the magnets

  • Using the magnet as a guide for size, fold the strips over 4 times.
  • Place the magnet in the centre section of each strip and tape down.
  • Fold each strip into a box and tape together.

Time to set-up

  • Pair the red and blue boxes that attract each other.
  • Tape them to the heart shapes.
  • Turn your magnetic hearts over and SNAP them together.
  • When it comes to magnets – opposites really do attract!

How it works

  • Magnets produce an invisible force called magnetism.
  • This force will pull some metals towards the magnet (metals that contain iron, nickel and cobalt).
  • All magnets have two polar (opposite) ends – these are called the north and south poles.
  • Two poles of the same type (e.g. North and North (will always repel each other. This is described as magnetic repulsion.
  • Two poles that are different (e.g. North and South) will attract each other. This is called magnetic attraction.
  • Magnetic attraction is used in this project to snap the two half hearts into one.

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