Electric and Magnetic Forces

SciPackDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.

The Electric and Magnetic Forces SciPack explores electricity and magnetism. It covers electric forces between objects, the source of electric forces in an object, and electricity and currents. It also explores magnetic forces and fields, as well as the relationship between electric and magnetic forces and fields.

  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • High

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Reviews (29)
  • on Thu Nov 01, 2018 12:31 PM

This Sci Pack is a wonderful elaboration about electric and magnetic force. I specifically appreciate how detailed it was through every topic. I really liked that there was such a wide mix of strategies used to convey the information through playable readings, pictures, and interactives. I think the self check questions were great reviews as well as the multiple choice and selection questions mixed in. This is a fantastic resource for a teacher to use in a middle school setting in order to cover certain standards on these topics. The breaking down of each sections works very well to go step by step through the electric and magnetic concepts.

Nick P  (Canton, OH)
Nick P (Canton, OH)

  • on Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:10 PM

I really enjoyed this SciPack! It was filled with a lot of wonderful information. I chose to do this SciPack, because it was like I was reviewing the material that I just completed in physics class last semester. There was a lot of information in the SciPack, but if you are into magnetic forces and electric forces this is the one to choose! It also taught me a lot of new information that I didn't know about electric forces. I am pleased with choosing this SciPack!

Chelsea Angel
Chelsea Angel

  • on Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:24 PM

Wow I did not expect this thing to be so big and thorough! It has over five sections and most of those have at least five subsections. This would be great to review over the summer or the winter breaks to prepare for a physics lesson on electricity and magnetism. Plus the fact that this is free makes it even better! I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about this topic or if you plan to teach Physics in the future. Great find!

Chris Hunt  (Kent, OH)
Chris Hunt (Kent, OH)

  • on Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:47 AM

I think I would use this resource, whenever I teach my students about electric and magnetic forces.

Mary Tran
Mary Tran

  • on Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:15 PM

This SciPack is very informational! One component of this SciPack that I really like is using the "magic" triangle to compute variables for Ohm's Law. I have never seen this method before, so I found it beneficial and interesting. Additionally, the automatic feedback to the embedded questions and quizzes really helped me and prepared me for the final assessment.

Emily T
Emily T

  • on Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:21 PM

This SciPack went over the basic of electric and magnetic forces. The level of detail was good for a quick refresher. More would be needed prior to teaching above middle grades level students.

Steve  (St. Johns, FL)
Steve (St. Johns, FL)

  • on Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:02 AM

Always love these step-by-step and interactive exercises reinforcing the academic standards!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:19 PM

This series helped me get a good grasp of these forces and their interrelations.

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:45 AM

I just completed the Sci-Pack and I found it very helpful. I teach elementary school science and I don't have a need to get deep, deep into theory and equations but I do believe that teachers should have a firm knowledge foundation on a topic before presenting it to students. This Sci-Pack was just right for me. The history of discovery was interesting and the math was challenging without being overwhelming. I also appreciate the pedagogy discussion. Understanding the misconceptions my students may have prior to the learning will help me guide their experiences in the lab and give them accurate knowledge. Thanks.

Dianne Spencer
Dianne Spencer

  • on Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:12 PM

After completing my first ever sci-pack I was a little nervous as I was beginning to take the final assessment. However, I aced the assessment and realized how well the information was taught during this PD. I feel so much more comfortable with the topic of electromagnetic forces and can't wait to teach a group of teachers next month this somewhat intimidating topic! Thanks NSTA

Chris Taylor  (Boise, ID)
Chris Taylor (Boise, ID)

  • on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:27 PM

The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. I had a lot of fear of science before learning about the NSTA Learning Center, and Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format. However, the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend the Electric and Magnetic Forces SciPack to anyone needing to learn more about scientific topics.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:28 PM

This SciPack is WAY beyond just a little info. I got a lot of background, debate info between AC/DC, and a whole lot more. The simulations and the videos are awesome. I struggled with the this and now after this SciPack I feel more confident about teaching electricity. I know I'll review the info over and over again.

Jessica Minton  (Collierville, TN)
Jessica Minton (Collierville, TN)

  • on Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:10 PM

This SciPack served as a very good review of electric and magnetic forces and the pedagogical implications were a great help in identifying student misconceptions so that they could be dealt with up front in class.

Rebecca Falin  (Elizabeth, WV)
Rebecca Falin (Elizabeth, WV)

  • on Thu Oct 25, 2012 7:36 PM

This SciPack does a very good job showing the relationship between electricity and magnetism, has some great interactives that would be great to use in the classroom, and has good hands-on activities to use with students to illustrate the concepts covered.

Erik  (Bountiful, UT)
Erik (Bountiful, UT)

  • on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 AM

I enjoyed this sci-pack, covering the basics of attraction, repulsion, basic circuits, and the relationships between electricity and magnets. I appreciated the simulations, they were great.

Nathan T
Nathan T

  • on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:03 PM

I completed this SciPack as a review for the Physics Praxis test. I feel much better prepared for the test. I especially liked the online simulations.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:55 PM

Having just finished quantum mechanics and relativity courses prior to my student teaching semester, I found this SciPack to be a fantastic refresher of the basic concepts in electricity and magnetism. This pack contains some very cool visuals and simulations, but I did find the narration to be a bit boring. This is definitely best suited for middle school or low-level high school students in my opinion, but overall serves as a great summary.

Ryan Cully  (Kent, OH)
Ryan Cully (Kent, OH)

  • on Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:59 AM

This SciPack for electric and magnetic forces is a fantastic tool to have. If there was ever a time that I found myself asking a question about electric or magnetic forces during my teaching career, this SciPack would have the answer. There are also some pretty cool simulations that help drive home the point even further. It is a little lengthy and time consuming to get through, but overall this is a resource that I will be sure to use in the future.

Brendon Schrock  (Mogadore, OH)
Brendon Schrock (Mogadore, OH)

  • on Mon Apr 30, 2018 6:13 PM

I think that this resource was very informative and thorough! I would definitely recommend and keep in mind for any middle school teachers, or anyone interested in the subject and are curious!

Amy Cline  (Cincinnati, OH)
Amy Cline (Cincinnati, OH)

  • on Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:14 PM

This resource/article is an easy and helpful source for my future classroom. I chose this to read because it reminded me of what we did in our first day of Science Methods this semester. I saw a lot of scaffolding through the content, just like any other typical article where they give a rough overview in the introduction and then each paragraph and section. I liked how it related some of the specific examples of the topic to things students would be interested in. The article both tied things in that the students are interested in and more serious topics like "Pedagogical Implications."

Kelsey S
Kelsey S

  • on Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:00 AM

There were a couple typos during the assessment, but the simulations and information were great. I thought the assessment included questions that were situational, and were not addressed well in the objects.

Kaylee  (Fairborn, OH)
Kaylee (Fairborn, OH)

  • on Mon May 25, 2015 1:35 PM

If you need a review of electric and magnetic forces. this is an awesome resource. Wish I could have given it 4.5 stars but not possible. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is I found some redundancy in the presentation

Katherine Martin  (Grafton, VT)
Katherine Martin (Grafton, VT)

  • on Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:43 PM

I thought this Scipack was pretty straightforward but it was not as enjoyable to go through as some of the other Scipacks. The tone was pretty textbook overall. Most of the other Scipacks had a clever twist or humorous approach to the teaching of the concepts. This one was a little dry.

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Mon Jul 30, 2012 2:10 PM

I have to teach a chapter on Electricity and Magnetism as part of my general science course. As a Chemistry teacher, it isn't one of my strongest subjects. This was a great refresher!

Lauren  (West Long Branch, NJ)
Lauren (West Long Branch, NJ)

  • on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:45 PM

The Electricty and Magnetism SciPack provides a variety of strategies to learn concepts including reading/audio selections, simulations, hands on activities, and embedded and final assessments. This SciPack has fewer of the simulations to assist in concept development than other physical science SciPacks. Clear directions are provided for the simulations. Although there are a variety of hands on activities, they address some of the simpler of the concepts. The embedded assessments allow the user to self-assess as s/he completes the parts of the SciPack. Because there is more reading in this SciPack , the self-assessments allow the user to decide of review is necessary before continuing and eventually taking the final evaluation. There is a section that includes pedagogical information about the learning of students at different grade levels as well.

Bambi Bailey  (Tyler, TX)
Bambi Bailey (Tyler, TX)

  • on Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:11 PM

I thought this scipack was very difficult. As a college student I had a hard time reading the content and understanding it. The final assessment itself was extremely difficult.

Alison Brumfield
Alison Brumfield

  • on Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:29 PM

This SciPack was very informative, and while it helped me learn more basic concepts of electricity and magnets it was also really long and had so much information that it was hard to comprehend it all. I think a shorter one with the information more broken down would have been better and more efficient for learning about this topic. I am not a fan of "check all that apply" questions so that made it a little more difficult for me, but I did like how the questions and quizzes as you went along were not graded and it told you the correct answer. Overall, this SciPack was not too bad, but I do not think I would use it much in a classroom as it does not simplify the material enough to me.

Hailey Cobble
Hailey Cobble

  • on Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:06 PM

This SciPack was very informative. In Georgia, static electricity nor magnets is not one of the fourth grade science standards and since I teach fourth grade I am unfamiliar with the topic. The SciPack gave some relevant information on static electricity. For example, amber can be used to produce static electricity or show an electrical charge. I thought this was good to know. I started thinking about ways I could use an amber fossil to engage students as we learned about fossils and magnets. Seems like a great opportunity for integrating some science concepts!

Shereen Z
Shereen Z

  • on Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:27 PM

This is ok for middle level, but is much too simplistic for high school teachers. Some of the responses are technically correct and I got them right because I understood what answer they were looking for. The correct answer may turn out to be elusive for someone who does not already understand the concepts.

Dan Carroll  (Arlington, VA)
Dan Carroll (Arlington, VA)

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