administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Oregon State Department of Education


  • pins
  • nails
  • bottle caps
  • paper
  • paper clips
  • coins
  • other items of various material
  • card board
  • tacks
  • buttons
  • various size and shaped magnets
  • tag board
  • Scales


After familiarizing your students with magnets, you will ask your students to develop a procedure to answer a question using scientific inquiry. The question is: "In my classroom investigation, through which materials will magnets attract paper clips?"


  1. Using the materials given to you in class, your task is to use scientific inquiry to determine if a magnet will attract paper clips through materials.

  3. You need to conduct your scientific investigation using the materials in our classroom. As you design your investigation, think about:
  • Which factors will you vary in your study? Which will you keep the same?
  • How can you be sure that the distance between the magnet and paper clips is even and constant?


  1. List, in order, the steps you will use. You may include a diagram to help illustrate your plans for the investigation. Include any safety procedures you would follow. Make your procedure detailed enough, so someone else could follow it easily.
  2. Construct a data table or chart to record your observations and results.
  3. Perform the investigation by following the steps outlined in your procedure. Be sure to note any changes to your listed procedures and tell why.
  4. Record your observations and measurements. Write statements or paragraphs and/or use tables where appropriate. Now transform your data into a graph.


  1. Write an interpretation and analysis of your results. Note any limitations to your investigation. What additional experiments or questions were suggested as you did your investigation?
  2. Based on what you learned in your investigation, write your own question that can be answered with further scientific inquiry using similar classroom materials that you had for this investigation.



©1997-2005 SRI International. All rights reserved. Terms of Use