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How it Works

When two magnets are placed close together they repel. This is the basic foundation of an electric motor. When electricity travels along the wire it creates a temporary magnetic field, as long as electricity keeps flowing. Now, place a temporary magnetic field on top of a magnet and it will repel when the 2 poles that are the same face each other; North to North or South to South. In order for a motor to work, the magnetic field of the wire cannot be on all of the time or it will draw the opposite magnetic poles together and short circuit your battery. This is why you will only sand half of the red coating off so the electricity is off for a short duration giving it time to glide around to the next cycle. Then once the 2 like poles line up (North and North or South and South), the connection between the wire and the paperclips touches to create a circuit and create another magnetic field to give it a boost.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials!

Materials List:

  • battery
  • 26 gauge magnet wire (about 2 feet)
  • 2 paper clips
  • magnet
  • 2 elastics
  • sand paper

Step 2: Coil the Wire Around the Battery

  • Wrap the wire very tightly around the battery
  • Carefully slide the wire off the battery being careful not to lose the circular shape

Step 3: Wrap the Wire

  • Leave about an inch and a half on either side of the wire uncoiled
  • Take each tail and wrap it around the coil to secure the ends from coming undone

Step 4: Sanding

  • Lightly sand the red coating off of one side of the wire end
  • On the other side only sand half of the red coating off

Step 5: Wrap the Battery With the Rubber Band

  • Double up the rubber band (twist it around itself)
  • Wrap the rubber band around the battery the long way

Step 6: Reshape the Paper Clips

  • Unfold the paperclip down the middle
  • Bend the top half down the middle to make a "V"
  • Repeat for the other paperclip

Step 7: Attach the Paper Clips

  • Slide the paperclips under the rubber band on either side of the battery

Step 8: Add the Magnet

  • Place the magnet between the 2 paper clips on the battery

Step 9: Add in the Coil

  • Place the coil onto the paper clips so that it is evenly balanced
  • The coil should begin to spin

TIP: If it is not spinning, move the magnet around to different spots. You might also want to lay the paper clip on to the table to make sure it is not bent. If it is bent, straighten it out.

If your motor is still not working, sand a small amount more on the side that you only sanded half.

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