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In the Magnetic Minesweeper Lab, you will recreate the classic computer game Minesweeper in real life! Using PocketLab's magnetometer, you will try to discover hidden mines and mark their locations on a grid. You can do this lab with two people to create a Minesweeper competition. One partner hides mines in different grid locations while the other partner tries to locate the mines to not get blown up!

Materials Needed:

  • PocketLab
  • Maker Kit box
  • Minesweeper grid (PDF provided in Step 1)
  • Magnet(s)
  • Tape

Step 1:

Print off two copies of the minesweeper grid. Make sure that your printer settings are set to "Actual Size" so that the grid is not scaled.

Click here for the minesweeper grid (PDF).

Step 2:

Using scissors, cut the first grid around the outside of the image. Cut the second grid on the perimeter of the 12 squares. This will cut off part of the graphics so that the second grid will fit inside the Maker Kit box.

Tape the smaller grid to the inside bottom of the Maker Kit box.

Step 3:

Tape the larger grid to the top cover of the Maker Kit box. You're now ready to investigate the Magnetic Minesweeper Lab!

Step 4:

Connect the PocketLab sensor and app. Select the Magnetic Field Magnitude from the graph list.

Step 5:

Place a magnet on the top grid of the box in one of the center squares, and place the PocketLab sensor on the lower left square.

On the PocketLab app screen, press the zero button to calibrate the Magnetic Field Magnitude graph.

Step 6:

Move the PocketLab sensor to different squares and observe how the graph changes. What happens when the sensor gets closer to the magnet? What happens when the sensor moves from the left to the right of the magnet?

Step 7:

Now that you are familiar with the Magnetic Field graph, put the magnet inside the box in the center of one of the squares. Close the lid of the box and then scan over the top grid with the PocketLab sensor. Slowly move the sensor left and right or up and down across the grids. What happens when the PocketLab sensor is on the grid directly on top of the magnet? What happens when you move the PocketLab to the left of squares to the left of the magnet?

Step 8:

Have your lab partner, friend, or parent place the magnet to a different grid in the box without you seeing where the magnet is placed. Cover your eyes or turn your head, so that you do not know where the magnet is located. Have your lab partner close the lid.

Scan up and down and left to right over the top grid with the PocketLab sensor. Using your observations from earlier, predict where you think the magnet is located. When you have a good prediction, mark an X on the grid where you think the magnet is located.

Step 9:

Open up the box and see if your prediction is correct. Switch roles so that you hide the magnet and your lab partner tries to predict the location.

For a more difficult challenge, place two magnets inside the box and try to find both locations.

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