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To supplement your eigth grader's study of magnets in school, try this simple activity at home. Your child will create a homemade working compass using just a steel needle, magnet, jar, and a few other supplies. As he builds his compass, he'll experiment with magnetism and will get to "see" the Earth's magnetic field as it influences the compass's needle. Doing science experiments in school and at home is a good way to observe scientific laws at work and helps deepen your child's understanding of scientific concepts.