Loading please wait

The smart way to improve grades

Comprehensive & curriculum aligned

Try an activity or get started for free

Explain How Electromagnets Work

In this worksheet, students will look at how electromagnets work and how we can use them to increase or decrease magnetism. It also includes information about how electromagnets are used.

'Explain How Electromagnets Work' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Year:  Year 8 Science worksheets

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Electricity and Electromagnetism

Curriculum subtopic:   Magnetism

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

Electromagnets are made using a coil of wire around an iron core (it can be an iron nail) and letting electricity flow through the wire. Here is a diagram of an electromagnet:




The concept is that the magnetic field around the wire (created by electric current flowing through it) can be strengthened by winding the wire into a coil and twisting it around an iron core.


Here are three ways to increase the strength of an electromagnet:


Increasing the number of coils in the wire

Increasing the current in the wire

Using a magnetic material for the core


Have a look at the Maglev train in the picture below: 


Maglev train


Electromagnets are used in Maglev trains. A computer system controls the current so the train floats 15 cm above the track. The Maglev train is continually pulled forwards because the electromagnets on the tracks are turned on when they are just in front of the train, so they attract the train. As the train moves, the next set of electromagnets on the tracks is turned on and pulls the train in turn.


Electric bells also contain an electromagnet. They are used in most schools.


Circuit diagram for electric bell


When the current flows through, the electromagnet attracts the hammer. The hammer hits the gong and the bell makes a sound. The current is turned off and the hammer returns to its initial position.

What is EdPlace?

We're your National Curriculum aligned online education content provider helping each child succeed in English, maths and science from year 1 to GCSE. With an EdPlace account you’ll be able to track and measure progress, helping each child achieve their best. We build confidence and attainment by personalising each child’s learning at a level that suits them.

Get started

Try an activity or get started for free

  • National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted / Parents
    National Tutoring Awards 2023 Shortlisted
  • Private-Tutoring-WINNER-EducationInvestor-Awards / Parents
    Winner - Private Tutoring
  • Bett Awards Finalist / Parents
  • Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents
    Winner - Best for Home Learning / Parents