This blog is managed by Song Hock Chye, author of Improve Your Thinking Skills in Maths (P1-P3 series), which is published and distributed by EPH.

## Thursday, December 06, 2007

### Thinking Skills in Science

In this post, the topic of Magnets will be discussed to demonstrate how thinking skills is used.

Knowledge -
A magnet has two poles, a north-pole (N) and a south-pole (S). Like poles repel, while unlike poles attract.

Example:

Using the above knowledge to think and deduce –

Question:
Three metal bars A, B and C, are placed on a table. Only two of the metal bars are magnets, while the third is not. Hazri experimented the 3 metal bars as illustrated below.
Which of the two metal bars are magnets?

Answer: Metal Bars A and C are magnets. Metal Bar B is not.

Thinking Process –

When like poles of 2 magnets face each other, the magnets will repel. In Experiment 3, Metal Bars A and C repel. From this, we can conclude that the like poles of Metal Bars A and C were facing each other and hence, the bars repelled.

In Experiments 1 and 2, although the metal bars were attracted to each other, it does not mean that the bars are magnets. You need only one bar to be a magnet, and the other bar to be a non-magnet made from magnetic material (such as iron, steel or nickel), for the bars to be attracted to each other.

Can you solve this? Are you able to identify the pole that is marked “X” on Magnet E?

Answer: South-pole. Do you know why?

Here is the reason.