Wherever you are standing on the planet, if you hold a compass in your hand it will always point to the North Pole. This is a pretty amazing fact! Imagine you were lost in a big park. How would you know which way to go? A compass would help you to find your way.
What is a compass?A compass is a very simple device. It is really just a magnet. Have you ever seen a compass? It usually looks a little bit like a watch. Instead of showing the hours of the day though, a compass dial shows the four directions - north, south, east and west.
The magnet in a compass is usually called a needle. The needle always points north.
Using a compassImagine again that you are lost in a big park, but this time you have a compass! You know the way back to your mum's car is north, how would you use the compass to go in the right direction?
You need to hold the compass flat and steady. Don't shake it around or it won't work. When the needle settles it will be pointing to the north. Turn your body around until the needle is lined up with where it says north on the compass dial - that way is north.
The best thing to do now is to pick out a big tree that is in that direction and walk that way keeping your eye on the tree. You will soon be back with your family!
Compasses are another way that magnets are very useful! =)