Both boys wanted to do the school science fair, and, originally, both wanted to do Volcanoes. I tried to steer them away from Volcanoes and boy and I glad I did... I think about 1/3 of the boys did projects on Volcanoes!
Nik then had all sorts of crazy-ambitious ideas that were either wildly dangerous, totally unfeasible, or both. I looked up a long list of science fair project, read the list aloud to Nik, and let him pick any one he wanted. He picked electromagnetism, which he insisted on calling "Electric magnets."
We read a little book about magnetism and Nik build an electromagnet from a kit I had bought for Ben's 3rd grade science:
How to Make an Electromagnet
battery, something metal, copper wires, little metal bits
1) Put a wire onto a battery
2) Wrap it around something metal like a nail
3) Attach the other side of the battery with the wire
4) Pick up little metal pieces with the magnet
Nik did a pretty good job on the writeup:
What is a Magnet?
A magnet is something that has force around it. The force grabs metal. It can attract other magnets.
You may probably have 100 magnets in your house. There is some magnets you can't see like in your drawers and your tv, computers -- almost all your electric things.
What is an Electromagnet?
It is a magnet that is made with electricity.
Nik spent a very long time making sure his display looked nice:
And carefully demonstrated how the magnet worked to everyone who came by: