FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Magnetism and Electricity (CA Ed.)


The Magnetism and Electricity Module consists of five sequential investigations, each designed to introduce or reinforce concepts in physical science. Students experience magnetism and electricity as related effects and learn useful applications of magnetism and electricity in everyday life.


  • Observe the interaction of permanent magnets with a variety of common materials.
  • Discover that magnets have two different poles, called north and south poles; like poles repel and opposite poles attract.
  • Build a compass and use it to detect magnetic fields, including Earth's magnetic field.
  • Measure the change in force between two magnets as the distance between them changes.
  • Create static charge and determine that electrically charged objects attract or repel each other.
  • Understand, design, and build simple open, closed, parallel, and series circuits.
  • Observe that electric current flowing in a wire produces a magnetic field.
  • Learn how to build an electromagnet.
  • Experience the relationship between the number of winds of wire around a core and the strength of the magnetism.
  • Use their knowledge of electromagnets to make a simple device, a telegraph, and understand how electromagnets are used in other devices such as motors and generators.
  • Learn that electric energy can be converted to heat, light, and motion.
  • Develop questions and perform scientific investigations to test predictions and draw conclusions.

For a description of each investigation in the Magnetism and Electricity Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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