Things you'll need:

  • Glass or shallow bowl
  • Water
  • Straight pin or needle
  • Cork
  • Small craft or block magnet

Step 1 Magnetize your needle

Take your magnet, and rubbing it over and over again in one direction down half the length of your needle. Rotate the needle to make sure you've gotten the whole thing!

Step 2 Build the compass pointer

Cut out a small disc of cork, and stick the needle through the middle, so that it's sticking out both ends evenly.

Step 3 Give your needle a place to float

Fill your cup or shallow bowl with water, deep enough so the cork can float freely.

Step 4 Float your needle

Float your cork disc on the surface of the water. The magnetized end of the needle will rotate to point toward magnetic north!

View the original project from the NOAA.

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