Bwbach Science Experiments: Make Black Bart's Compass

Black Bart is a legend of the sea, but he wouldn't have been able to carry any of his dastardly deeds without his trusty compass and any aspiring explorer will need one during their adventures. You can't always have one to hand, so find out how you can make one with our exciting science experiment!



Bwbach science experiments

We're getting in the Bwbach spirit with our Bluestone-inspired science experiments that you can do at home! First up is Myths and Legends themed, as we'll be helping you to make your own compass out of items you can find around the house - perfect if you need to navigate out of a sticky situation quickly! Remember to ask an adult before attempting any of our experiments to ensure everything goes smoothly.


How to make a compass

What you will need:

  • Sewing needle (make sure to be careful of the point and ask an adult before using)
  • Magnet
  • A leaf
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Treasure

For adults who are helping, what about a dram of rum(optional)?



Follow the directions below and nothing will go south! 

1) First, magnetise the needle by stroking it 20 times with the same end of the magnet in one direction only from eye to point. Between each stroke make sure that you move the magnet away from the needle.

2) Rest the needle on a leaf (gently).

3) Fill your bucket with water and place the leaf on the surface of the water.

4) On the bucket mark North as the direction the needle is pointing to (you can add the other points of the compass at this point too.

5) Time to test! Slowly move your bucket in a different direction to make sure that the needle moves.

6) Hide your treasure!

7) Activate your inner pirate and make your very own treasure map, for example; 5 steps north, three jumps West...

8) Dorn your best pirate attire and lead the hunt for the hidden treasure.


Time for a quest!

Now that you are a compass expert, below are some tricky compass questions for you to research at home:

Is the North Pole in the same place every day?

What happens to the North Pole roughly every 200,000 to 300,000 years?

When will this happen next and what are the likely consequences?

Who invented the compass?


The Bwbach Festival


If you enjoy experimenting and creating and designing new things, then why not pay us a visit during The Bwbach Festival? Combining traditional autumn festivals like harvest and Halloween, it's a season to celebrate originality, mischief-making, and make new discoveries. Explore what you'll be able to enjoy now!


The Bwbach Festival
What's On At Bluestone
Autumn Fun
The Meaning of Bwbach Explained
What's On At Bluestone
Hint! 'Little Scare'