Start of main content
Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 30-59 mins
  • D & T
  • Science

Magnetic maze STEM challenge

Making a maze game from a bottle and a magnet

Magnets can be used to attract other magnetic materials, which makes them incredibly useful for use in products, such as toys and games. Can you successfully make and test a magnetic maze game?

Learners will draw a maze layout on a plastic bottle and use a magnet to guide objects, such as a 1p coin, around the maze. This is a fun STEM challenge that will teach students about how magnets attract certain materials and will show them how to apply this knowledge in an engaging and practical way.

This resource could be used as a one-off activity or as part of a wider unit of work focussing on magnets and magnetism. It can also be used in conjunction with other IET Education resources, developed alongside the School of Engineering at Cardiff University.

Activity: Magnetic maze STEM challenge

This is one of a set of resources developed to support the teaching of the primary national curriculum. They are designed to support the delivery of key topics within science and design and technology. This resource focuses on developing understanding of magnetic materials by producing a maze game.

This activity could be completed as individuals or in small groups depending on the equipment that is available.

Download the activity sheet below for detailed, step-by-step instruction on how to construct your DIY magnetic maze game!

As an optional extension students could replace the coin with a ball bearing, a paper clip, a plastic coin and a small piece of wood. Which ones work well and which do not?
Students could also draw different maze layouts and use different sized bottles to create a range of puzzle products! Alternatively, students could compete with their friends to see who can complete the maze the fastest by timing themselves with stopwatches.

Tools/resources required


  • Pre-made exemplar
  • Magnets
  • 1 pence coins (post 1992)
  • Plastic drinks bottles
  • Paper clips (for extension activity)
  • Ball bearings (for extension activity)
  • Plastic coins (for extension activity)
  • Small pieces of wood (for extension activity)

Tools and equipment:

  • Different coloured marker pens
  • Stopwatches (for extension activity)

The engineering context

Engineers need to know the properties of magnets, which materials are magnetic and which materials are non-magnetic. This knowledge could be used when identifying and creating potential solutions to future engineering problems.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this exercise students will have an understanding of what makes a material magnetic, they will be able to give examples of magnetic and non-magnetic materials and they will be able to make a maze game using a bottle and a magnet.

Download the free Magnetic maze STEM challenge activity sheet below!

All activity sheets, worksheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Please share your classroom learning highlights with us @IETeducation.

Related resources