April 22, 2019

Celebrating Earth Day with TGR EDU: Explore’s Magnetic Migration Lesson

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by investigating the migration patterns of animals. Magnetic Migration, our engaging, hands-on lesson from TGR EDU: Explore, highlights animals’ abilities to navigate using Earth’s magnetic field.

In recent years, scientists have gathered evidence to determine how animals use Earth’s magnetic field as a way to survival. This research has evolved into conservation efforts to protect the population of many animals such as sea turtles and salmon by being able to examine their behaviors. As a result of these efforts, many species have been saved from becoming endangered.

The learning objective of the Magnetic Migration lesson bundle is to build students’ understanding of how animals migrate through Earth’s magnetic field using their ability to adapt.

During the lesson, students will imagine themselves as part of an animal conservation group. Using scientific evidence, they must prove or disprove the claim that animals use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate by the end of the lesson. Through real-world experiences, students will learn important STEM concepts and be introduced to innovative careers such as zoology, geographic information and electrical engineering.

The students will first explore the properties of magnets while conducting a series of four hands-on activities:

  1. Discover which metals are attracted to magnets
  2. Explore iron filings to learn about magnetic fields
  3. Study ring magnets to learn about north and south poles
  4. Examine magnetic attraction in water

After extending their knowledge of magnetism to build their own compass, students will then be divided into groups that will focus on sea turtles, sharks or birds. Each group will research and conduct experiments to help them prove or disprove the claim that animals use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate.

Gaining knowledge of the behaviors of these amazing animals will continue to protect the balance of nature. As citizens of Earth, we can all do our part on and beyond Earth Day.

Redefining what it means to be a champion.

TGR EDU: Explore offers free, engaging, project-based lessons making science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) and college-access knowledge and activities on demand.