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Topic: 3E Magnets and springs
A robotic caterpillar has been designed which can crawl across the surface of the heart to deliver treatment. The tiny robot, just a few centimetres long, can move at up to 18 centimetres per minute, controlled by a joystick from outside the body. Doctors follow the robot's movement on the heart's surface using a magnetic tracker on the skin. In this activity children will determine from which type of material the robot should be made. They will learn that some metals are magnetic. They will classify a range of materials, including metals as magnetic or non-magnetic and explain how their work enabled them to do this. They will describe and explain how magnets can be used.
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· that some metals are magnetic but most materials are not
Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 2 successfully.
· to carry out an experiment to test a prediction
Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 3 successfully.
· to apply scientific knowledge to everyday situations
Children will demonstrate this by completing the task on page 4 successfully.
QCA Unit 3E: Magnets and springs
· that magnets attract some metals but not others and that other materials are not attracted to magnets
· that magnets have a variety of uses
· making simple predictions
· planning what evidence to collect
· to make careful observations
· to use results to draw conclusions, indicating whether they were right in their prediction about which materials were magnetic
Introducing the activity
· Display Page 1 of the activity through a data projector or on an OHT. Discuss the image with the children. What is the surgeon doing?
- Why is this necessary?
- How is this different from other pictures of operations you have seen?
- Do you think this is safer than cutting open the man's chest?
Draw the children's attention to the email; the Magna-Robot is controlled by magnets. Which materials should be used for it?
Leading the main activity
· Display Page 2 through a data projector or on an OHT.
Explain to the children that the Magna-Robot is moved to the heart by the surgeon using magnets on the patient's chest
- Do they think it would be useful?
- Which materials are attracted to a magnet?
- What does attracted mean?
Ask the children to predict which of the objects would be attracted to a magnet and to explain their choices.
Ideally provide the children the opportunity to test out their predictions.
· Display Page 3 through a data projector or on an OHT. Print off copies for the children. Ask the children to decide which of the materials that they tested would be suitable for the Magna-Robot.
For more able children: the task could be extended by asking them to choose the ‘best' material. What other properties as well as being magnet would be useful?
Optional practical activity:
The children could be challenged to make a simple magnet game by drawing a maze onto a piece of card and twisting a pipe cleaner into a simple mouse shape. Place the mouse at the start of the maze and either draw or make a piece of cheese at the end of the maze. Use a magnet under the card and guide the mouse to the cheese without touching it.
· Display Page 4 through a data projector or on an OHT. Go through the pictures displayed and ask the children to explain how the magnet is useful.
Story of the tiny robot which may revolutionise heart surgery