How to Make an Electromagnetic Game

by Andrew Button
Electricity: the power of the future.

Electricity: the power of the future.

Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images

"Electromagnetics" is a broad scientific field covering electricity, magnetism and the interaction between magnets and electric currents. One of the simplest application of electromagnetic theory is in making games. For decades, people have been making simple electromagnetic maze games as science fair projects. In an electromagnetic game, the challenge is to navigate an metal wire rod through a an electrically charged maze without blocking the current.

Items you will need

  • 40 Inches bare copper wire
  • Popsicle stick
  • Masking tape
  • Battery holder
  • 40 inches insulated copper wire
  • Light bulb
  • 30-inch-by-5-inch wooden base
  • Nails
Step 1

Cut a piece of uninsulated copper into one long piece. Make the short piece 3 to 4 inches long, and make the long piece 15 to 20 inches long. Use measuring tape to measure out the wire, and wire strippers to cut it.

Step 2

Cut 4 inches of wire off the end of the long wire, and bend one end of the new 5-inch wire into a loop, leaving 4 inches of straight wire. Tape this 4 inches of wire onto a Popsicle stick with masking tape, so that you have a Popsicle stick with a loop at the end.

Step 3

Connect the wand to the battery holder using insulated wire. Leave about 50 inches of wire so that that the wand is free to move. Connect one piece of long wire to the nonlooped end of the Popsicle stick, and another end of the same wire to an open prong on the battery holder. Connect another long piece of wire from the battery holder to the light bulb.

Step 4

Push two nails into opposite ends of the wooden base.

Step 5

Put the loop of the wand through the long piece of copper, then tie each end of the long piece of copper wire around one of the nails.

Step 6

Shape the long wire into a series of peaks and valleys. Make it so that it is not easy for the user to get the wand from one side of the wire to the other. Rounded shapes are easier to form wire into, while angular shapes are higher.

Step 7

Put the battery into the battery holder, turning on the electricity.

About the Author

Based in St. John's, Canada, Andrew Button has been writing since 2008, covering politics, business and finance. He has contributed to newspapers and online magazines, including "The Evening Telegram" and cbc.ca. Button is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Memorial University in St. John's.

Photo Credits

  • Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images