How to Make a Simple Electric Motor for Class Demo




A simple motor concept that will show the Kids the idea behind a motor. You can review the movie attach to this project.

Step 1: Making the Coil

1. Use an AA size battery to make the coil with 2 long ends.
  • No. of coils is appoximately 7 coils. (you can trial and error)

2. Scrap away the insulation on the copper wire.
  • Only remove 1 side of the wire (on both ends), so that it acts like a commutator

3. Bend one side of the coil to act as a turning handle.

Step 2: Making the Holder for the Coil

1. Use a single coil sire and twist it into a loop.
  • make sure the loop is hanging down, to ensure contact between the expose srea of the copper wire.

2. secure 2 loops to the terminals of a power source. (up to you to decide)
  • I am using aonly a 2V dry fitt battery.

Step 3: Magnet

1. Use a strong Magnet (Alnico) to create the magnetic field.

2. Make sure the coil is near enough to experience the field.
*You can see the coil attracted to the magnet.

3. Turn the handle of the coil to start rotation.



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    4 Discussions


    12 years ago

    We made kits for our Scout Pack, similar to instructions at This plan uses D cell batteries as the power source and they double as being the right size to wrap the coil. They were built on top of paper coffee cups (the local Starbucks CHARGED me for fifteen empty cups, but they were just the right size and didn't slope as much as others) Then I saw the HowToon at for an even simpler setup. This would be a great class project. The kids can take them home and show mom and pop what they learned! In the HowToon they scrape the entire wire end and then put finger nail polish over one side. We achieved the same result by using a couple of coats (dry in between coats) of permanent markers, which would be a lot less messy and somewhat less smelly. A super simple motor is at


    Reply 12 years ago

    also, it helpful to mention that the wire shown in the picture is actually insulated. The insulation is a film on the surface of the copper. You're only supposed to scrape off the insulation from the two 'arms'. And when you scrape off that insulation you only scrape it off of one cemicircle of the wire: #########| original wire with insulation #########| ``````````````| wire with half insulation scraped off #########| The half which is scraped off should be the same half on each arm (make sure the uninsulated parts of the two arms face the same way)


    12 years ago

    Here's a simple electric motor I made to show our Physics students the basic principles. The coil was the trickiest part, I made this by winding the wire around a plastic pipe and glueing it in place. Balancing the coil was quite tricky too as the coil is pretty delicate, hence I intergrated an upside-down jamjar into the construction to protect the motor from inquisitive students.