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Total Cereal Magnet Experiment
Old 01-26-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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Has anyone ever done the Total cereal magnet experiment? How do you do it? Dry cereal or wet? Any tips would appreciated! Thanks!


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Yes...
Old 01-26-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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We tried it the last two years. Yes, tried. It didn't work! We experimented with wet, but that was horrid. The dry cereal was better, and when we crushed it until it was a fine powder, that is when we had the best results.

It really didn't work nearly as well as we had heard it should work, and we were bummed. That's why we tried it twice and after the 2nd attempt, we moved on.

Good luck! (I'm hoping for you that you get it to work and can share what you did to make it do so!)
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Love it.....
Old 01-26-2009, 08:06 PM
 
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I do this every year with my 6th graders! It is so cool and they love it. It is a little gross, but they usually get beyond that quickly. I would upload my lab sheet, but I don't have it on this computer

My suggestions and tips:

-Always use Total or another cereal that has 100% the daily allowance
-Put a serving size (especially if you are trying to give the kids a visual how much iron is in one serving) in a baggie
-have kids crush the cereal in the bag (they love to pass it around)
-fill container about 1/2 full with warm water
-empty crushed cereal into the water
-put magnet in sealable plastic bag along with a stirring stick (not magnetic of coarse, I always use chopsticks)
-seal baggie (get out as much air as possible)
-have kids insert baggie with magnet into cereal water and stir
-be sure they hold the top of the baggie well so it doesn't drop into the mixture (end up with a messy clean-up if they do)
-they stir about 15 minutes or until I check and see some iron on bag
-have paper towel on desk so they can set the baggie on it to observe
-have kids use a hand lens to observe the OUTSIDE of the bag when they take it out (they should see the iron filings and it is so cool)
-sometimes I need to help them move the magnet away from the iron so they can actually see it well and realize it is outside the bag and not from the magnet
-I let them touch it after observations

They are always amazed at seeing the iron and realizing that we actually eat it.

clean-up tips:

-pick a responsible student from each group to dump the mixture into the toilet and flush it down
-they will need to hold it low to the toilet to avoid splashing
- I ALWAYS check to toilets before and after the students dump it and if it is all over they have to go back in and do cleanup

If you have any more questions let me know.....
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Mixed results
Old 01-26-2009, 08:13 PM
 
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I first saw this experiment done in an AIMS workshop many years ago. It was done wet--water and cereal mixed up in a blender. It kind of bothered me to see the iron filings appear--we're eating that!?!

Anyway, I later tried it myself. The first time I did it I was successful. The next time I did it (a couple of years later), I was not. I'm not sure what the difference was, but I'm guessing that perhaps the iron content of the cereal wasn't high enough the second time. I think, too, you probably need a pretty strong magnet. The filings are pretty tiny--maybe I just missed them?

I'd forgotten about this. I may have to resurrect this activity when we get to the unit on magnetism!
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strong magnet
Old 01-27-2009, 03:05 AM
 
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It works if you use a really strong magnet. I've had success with a cow magnet, which I was able to buy at a hobby shop.


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Any magnet
Old 01-28-2009, 03:00 PM
 
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I have had luck with any magnet really. Just be sure to use a cereal with 100% iron per serving. You could also put two servings in and gather more iron that way. Just be sure you put the crushed (as much as possible) cereal in water, and warm water breaks the cereal pieces down faster too. I haven't had much luck doing it dry.

Good luck you guys,
Don't give up. This experiment is worth perfecting.
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Old 01-28-2009, 03:17 PM
 
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I've done it with wet cereal (water and total) and you put the blended up mixture in a clear thin cup. Then the kids can put the magnet on the outside of the cup and the iron will be visible through the cup. It's less messy than inserting the magnet in the cereal.
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ziplocks
Old 01-28-2009, 03:55 PM
 
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I put a scoop of Total and a cup or so of water in a double ziplock. Then students hold the mixture and rub a magnet along the bottom. After a little rubbing, iron filings begins to gather.
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thank you
Old 03-24-2009, 02:54 PM
 
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thank you it helped alot
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