Magnetic Attractions

By Laura Hospitál on Jul 13, 2015

This science project was done by Melanie, who is a student at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).


Which material nickel, aluminum, leather, or paper will affect the magnetic field the most?
Magnetic field will be measured in milliTeslas


The International System unit of field intensity for magnetic fields is Tesla (T). One tesla (1 T) is defined as the field intensity generating one newton (N) of force per ampere (A) of current per meter of conductor.  A magnetic field of one tesla is quite strong. That is why magnetic fields are usually expressed in microtesla (µT). Typical values of field intensity for some magnetic fields are:


The nickel will affect the magnetic field as measured with the mT (milliteslas) the most.
The image is of the four materials used in the experiment.


  • Vernier Talking LabQuest
  • Vernier magnetic field sensor
  • magnets
  • aluminum foil 
  • paper 
  • leather     
  • nickel


  1. Gather all materials need for this project.
  2. Put the sheets of paper in between the two tables and places the magnet to the right of the paper about three in a half centimeters.
  3. Connect the lab quest.
  4. Using the ruler measure fifteen centimeters from the paper and use the lab quest to measure the teslas.
  5. Record your measurement in your data table.
  6. Move the wand from the lab quest five centimeter closer to the paper.
  7. Record the new measurement in your data table.
  8. Move the wand five more centimeter closer to the paper.
  9. Record the new measurement in your data table.
  10. Repeat this process using the nickel, aluminum sheet, and the leather instead of the paper.
  11. Clean lab area.
  12. Write your results and your conclusion, be sure to compare your results to your hypothesis.

Set-up of the LabQuest and the magnet with the material in between.


From 5cm

  • paper:    .2234 milliteslas (mT)
  • leather:   .0484 mT 
  • aluminum:    .0289 mT
  • nickel:      .3181 mT

From 10 cm

  • Paper :      .0803 millitesla (mT)
  • Leather:   0406 mT
  • aluminum:    0741 mT
  • nickel :     .0700 mT

From 15 cm

  • paper:   .0336 mT
  • leather:   .0465 mT
  • aluminum:  .0383 mT
  • nickel :  .0421 mT


When measured from 5cm, the nickel did affect the magnetic field the most.  My hypothesis was correct


Other materials could be used instead of the four chosen for this experiment. 

NGSS Standards:

Plan and conduct an investigation individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence, and in the design: decide on types, how much, and accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements and consider limitations on the precision of the data (e.g., number of trials, cost, risk, time), and refine the design accordingly. (HS-ESS2-5)

magnetic attractions collage

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