Interaction of Forces


Computers and many other household objects use electromagnets.

What Are Electromagnets?

You use electromagnets every day. They are in lots of everyday objects like your computer and doorbell. But what are electromagnets?

An electromagnet is any metal object that acts as a magnet when an electric current moves through it. When an electric current is not moving through it, the object acts like a regular metal. Can you think of any other devices that use electromagnets?

In this lesson, you will learn more about how electromagnets work and their many uses. You will continue to work toward answering the essential question: In what ways can you increase (or decrease) the strength of electric and magnetic forces?


  • Understand the relationship between electric currents and magnetic fields
  • Analyze how motors and generators use electromagnetic forces
Key Words
  • electric motor
  • electromagnet
  • electromagnetism
  • solenoid

You will have two days to complete this lesson. Plan to complete the Communicate, Collaborate, Connect section of the lesson on the first day. On the second day, start with the Evaluate section, and then complete the remainder of the lesson.