Essential Question:

How can I move an object without touching it?

Math Target:

3.MD.A.1 Tell and write time to the nearest minute and measure time intervals in minutes. Solve word problems involving addition and subtraction of time intervals in minutes, e.g. by representing the problem on a number line diagram.

Science Targets:

SPI 0307.12.1 Recognize that magnet can move objects without touching them.
SPI 0307.12.2 Identify objects that are attracted to magnets.


exposure to magnets, using a stopwatch, adding/subtracting time


attract, repel, push, pull, magnetic field

Integrated Lesson:

Magnetic Horse Race (CMCSS teacher created for STEM 2015 training)

I Do:

TW will review vocabulary of magnetic fields, push/repel, and pull/attract.
Pose the question: How can you get the horse to move using the magnet without touching it?

We Do:

1. Break students into groups of 4. Give each team 2 paper horses (each horse has magnet attached to the inside) 2 timers, and 2 magnets (bar or horseshoe work best). Allow students to explore with the magnet and horse to see if they can figure out a strategy.

2. Each team needs to measure out a racetrack 1 yard long (3 feet).

3. 2 students are timekeepers and 2 students are racers.

4. Timekeepers will record start time. Have the racers move the horses down the track by pushing the horse (without touching it) to the finish line.

5. When they finish, the timekeepers will give the time and the racers will record the data. Racers will find the elapsed time and see which horse took the least amount of time. (Students can use different strategies: jumps around the clock, time line, t-chart, etc.)

6. Racers will race again for a second round.

7. Students switch roles and repeat steps 3-7.

You Do:

SW answer questions that analyze the data and solve elapsed time problems.


Exit tickets: Have students explain how they were able to move the horse without touching it (magnetic field and opposite poles repel).

Downloadable Resources:

Teacher Created- Summer 2015 STEM Trainings, 3rd Grade