In order to be a productive treasure hunter you have to know where you're going! That means you'll need a compass. Don't have a compass? no problem! We'll make one!

Here's what you'll need:

1. a strong magnet 2. a paperclip 3. a cork 4. a bowl of water

What to do:

1. First, straighten out the paperclip. Try to get it as straight as possible, but be careful not to poke yourself!

2. Magnetize the paperclip by rubbing it against the magnet for about a minute. Make sure to use the same side of the magnet the whole time, and rub in one direction over and over again.

3. Have a parent help you cut off a small circle of cork from the end, about 1 centimeter thick. Then poke the paper clip through the edge of your cork circle (from one side of the circle to the other, not through the center) until the cork is on the center of your paperclip.

4. Put your bowl of water on a flat, still surface; then float the paperclip/cork combo in the bowl of water.

5. Now watch what happens. The paper clip should eventually point north/south. Try turning the bowl around to see if your compass will turn back to the north again.

What happened?

The earth produces a magnetic field. It's not strong enough to make refrigerators start flying around, but it is enough to align lighter magnetic objects with it. By floating the magnetized paperclip in the water you freed it up from other forces (remember our friction experiment?) so that it could be pulled around by the earth's magnetic field.

Things to think about:

Sometimes when you are faced with a hard choice, and you can't decide what the right thing to do is, it's kind of like being lost. What kinds of ideas could you use as a "compass" to help remind you of what is right and what is wrong?