Can we separate iron filings from soil? in Playing With Magnets – Class 6 Science Experiment

Chapter Name: Playing With Magnets

Activity Name: Can we separate iron filings from soil? in Playing With Magnets

Activity Description:

The experiment aims to investigate whether iron filings can be separated from soil using a bar magnet. By rolling the magnet in the soil and observing the attachment of particles to the magnet, students can determine the effectiveness of magnetic attraction in separating iron filings.

Required Items:

  • Bar magnet
  • Soil (from the school ground)
  • Sheet of paper
  • Box or container (to collect iron filings for future use)

Step by Step Procedure:

  1. Take the bar magnet and go to the school ground where there is soil available.
  2. Roll the magnet in the soil for some time, ensuring that the magnet comes into contact with the soil particles.
  3. After rolling the magnet, carefully remove it from the soil.
  4. Observe the magnet and check if anything is attached to it. You may find dark particles sticking to the magnet.
  5. Gently remove these dark particles from the magnet and collect them on a sheet of paper.
  6. The collected particles are iron filings.
  7. Store these iron filings in a box or container for future use in further activities.

Experiment Observations:

  1. When the magnet is rolled in the soil, some dark particles get attached to it.
  2. The attached particles are iron filings.
  3. The magnet attracts more iron filings to its surface.


  • Be careful while handling the magnet to avoid any injuries or accidents.
  • Ensure that the magnet is clean and free from any external magnetic substances before starting the experiment.
  • Clean the magnet after each use to remove any residual iron filings.

Lesson Learnt from Experiment:

  • Iron filings can be separated from soil using a magnet.
  • The magnet attracts iron filings due to its magnetic properties.
  • Different parts of the magnet may have varying strengths of magnetic attraction.
  • The area closer to the poles of the magnet usually exhibits stronger attraction and collects more iron filings.
  • Removing iron filings from certain parts of the magnet may be more difficult than others, depending on the strength of attraction.

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