Simple Experiments; How to Make a Manual Compass


A compass is a tool that can be used to determine cardinal directions such as north, south, west, and east. A compass is often a pointing arrow that can correctly align itself with the Earth’s magnetic field. This simple experiment demonstrates how useful a manual compass can be in determining navigation or determining the direction of travel so that you don’t get lost. When on a trip, this navigation system is often utilized on numerous modes of transportation as well as by humans.

Compass users aren’t just limited to males who travel by land, sea, or air anymore. Because of the range of professions that can be done, it is also popular among women. The compass is useful for establishing the Qibla direction in worship for Muslims. Today’s compass shapes are very varied; a compass may even be found in everyone’s cell phone. The use of a digital compass in a cellphone, on the other hand, is highly dependent on the condition of the phone. Making your own compass can be a good way to know the cardinal directions even if your phone isn’t working. Let’s work together to make a compass!

Tools and Materials of How to Make a Manual Compass

  • Bowl
  • Needle
  • Magnet
  • Styrofoam
  • Water
  • Paper
  • Whiteboard marker
  • Duct tape

Instructions for Use of How to Make a Manual Compass

1. Prepare tools and materials to make a compass

Simple Experiments; How to Make a Manual Compass 1
Step 1

2. Cut the Styrofoam into rounds

3. Cut the paper 9the size of styrofoam that has been cut)

4. Draw a + sign vertically and horizontally in the center of the paper

5. Slide the needle over the magnet in a clockwise motion several times

Simple Experiments; How to Make a Manual Compass 2
Step 5

6. Place the needle on the styrofoam that has been cut crosswise

7. Put the styrofoam that already contains the needle on the water

8. See which way the needle is turning, mark the north and south

9. Paste the paper that has been drawn and mark the cardinal points

10. Put it back in the bowl

Simple Experiments; How to Make a Manual Compass 3
Step 10

11. Rotate the bowl in different directions

12. Pay attention to what occurs

Explanation of How to Make a Manual Compass

The magnetic attraction of the earth’s magnetic poles, notably north and south, is used by an analog compass, also known as a manual compass. When a needle is rubbed against a magnet, it acquires magnetic qualities, allowing it to be used to detect direction depending on the arrow’s direction. A needle with magnetic power will not rotate in the same direction as the bowl, but will instead rotate in the direction of the earth’s magnetic poles, north and south.


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