🧪 Science with Sarah: Floating Magnetic Ghosts 👻🧲

Take magnetism to a spooooooky level!

Try to make this floating magnetic ghosts with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey

👉 Watch the video of Sarah’s school science experiment here!

Hello parents, teachers and students! Are you looking for something fun and Halloween-y to do at home that has a little bit of science behind it? Try to make this floating magnetic ghosts with Meteorologist Sarah Spivey and her awesome assistant, David Sears!

Be sure to check out GMSA@9 on Wednesdays when Meteorologist Sarah Spivey does the demonstrations and explains the science behind it.

Science with Sarah: Invite KSAT to your school for live science experiments. (KSAT)

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Here are the materials you'll need for your experiment (Copyright KSAT 2022 - All rights reserved)
  • Paper clips
  • Ceramic craft magnets (LIKE THESE)
  • Clear fishing wire (LIKE THIS)
  • Jumbo craft sticks
  • Strong tape (electrical tape works great!)
  • White tissue paper

DO THE EXPERIMENT

  • STEP 1: Make a magnetic “wand” to eventually control your ghost by taping two or three ceramic magnets between two jumbo craft sticks. It should look like this ⬇️
Build a magnetic wand to control your ghost with jumbo craft sticks, tape, and ceramic craft magnets (Copyright KSAT 2022 - All rights reserved)
  • STEP 2: Make a loop with some clear fishing wire and tape it to a table to anchor it down. Then, attach a paper clip to the end. It should look like this ⬇️
Here's a look at what your "ghostly" set-up should look like! (Copyright KSAT 2022 - All rights reserved)
  • STEP 3: Take your magnetic wand and practice by pulling the paper clip up with the magnets and making it “float” in the air by itself
  • STEP 4: Take a small sheet of tissue paper -- you can draw eyes and a mouth on it if you want -- and place it over the paper clip. Now, with your magnetic wand, balance the tissue paper on the paper clip and try to make your ghost float! It should look like this ⬇️
You can make a spoooooky ghost with magnets, fishing wire, tissue paper, and a paper clip! (Copyright KSAT 2022 - All rights reserved)

HOW IT WORKS

This is a great example of the forces of magnetism and gravity. As long as you can make the ghost float, the force of the magnets is greater than the force of gravity. If your ghost and/or paper clip falls, gravity wins out. Have fun!!

SCIENCE WITH SARAH

If you’d like Sarah and David to come to your school and conduct a science experiment live on KSAT, email sciencewithsarah@ksat.com.

Parents and guardians: upload a video of your child performing the activity by clicking here. Send it in and you might see it on GMSA @ 9 a.m.!


About the Authors:

Sarah Spivey is a San Antonio native who grew up watching KSAT. She has been a proud member of the KSAT Weather Authority Team since 2017. Sarah is a Clark High School and Texas A&M University graduate. She previously worked at KTEN News. When Sarah is not busy forecasting, she enjoys hanging out with her husband and cat, and playing music.

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.