In the end, as long as someone was pressing the stripped wired to either end of our battery (taped inside the "cab" of our "crane"), than our mechanism would pick up it's load of paperclips. This is the first week I've managed to keep cool during the outrageously complicated and time intensive rigs they have prescribed, and actually had quite a bit of fun.
|Levity trying out a simple electromagnet|
|AA battery, connected to two ends of stripped wire off of our solenoid|
|Our home made "crane"|
box, the thread then passes up the rainbow ruler, through a length of straw for ease of movement. Then the thread attaches to the solenoid made up of wire tripple wrapped around an iron nail.
The stripped ends of the wire double back to attach to the positive and negative end of the battery,
mounted on the wall of the box. Whenever both ends are in contact, the nail becomes electro-magnetized. If you turn the dowel, it shortens the length of the thread, which winches up the wire wrapped nail, thus lifting the paperclips. Hoorah.