Parents, Educators & Engineers

Mission: Solar System

Inspector Detector

Design and build a device that can pass above a surface and detect magnetic fields.

People love treasure hunts. But in this one, kids are looking for something invisible! In this video, kids design and build magnetic-field detectors and use them to find hidden magnets. The video shows kids using the engineering design process, applying a variety of science concepts (e.g., force, magnetic fields, mapping), and learning about how a planet's or moon's magnetic field gives NASA scientists insights into its structure and how it formed.

Related Activity

Inspector Detector

Want to do this challenge with kids? Download the leader notes and handout.
Download (PDF)

Related NASA Video

Measuring Magnetic Fields

See colorful animations of a planetary magnetic field and learn how spacecraft measure it.
Download video (4 MB)
Watch now on NASA


Related Engineer Video

Tracy Drain

NASA flight systems engineer Tracy Drain explains that her role on the Juno spacecraft team was to keep the mission problem-free by tracking all the details so that nothing could fall through the cracks or be forgotten. Watch now