A best practice lesson for the teaching of physical science or GATE talent pools:
In this lesson, students use the engineering process to build a working crane model that is strong enough to lift a stapler.
There are no set patterns, pre-cut materials, or teacher-led building instructions here! Students engage in the engineering process to design and build their own working models of cranes. The teacher sets guidelines and limitations, provides feedback and monitors progress, instructs the students in background physics concepts, and provides a rubric. The rest depends upon the innovative and creative processes of the students.
After a review of simple machines, students discover physics concepts including force, potential energy, kinetic energy, and Newton’s laws of motion. Then it’s time to build the cranes which will be evaluated based upon a rubric.
Does this lesson look like your style? Perhaps you'd prefer the entire unit? See STEM: Renaissance Style in the Portable Gifted and Talented Store