How Does It Really Work?
(Objects from the Made Environment)
Students have many scientific questions about the world. As teachers, we are not afforded the time to explore them all so it is pertinent for us to provide opportunities for self-learning. My other thoughts around this type of task is many people take our technological breakthroughs for granted without giving a second thought to how amazing they are. This task encourages students to wonder and seek answers.
Students choose phenomena from the ‘made environment’ (not man-made… many women have contributed to the making of our environment) you really want to know how it works. Something you have either always wanted to know, something you have wondered about for a long time or something you just don’t understand. Research it and write a brief explanation.
e.g. How does an aircraft achieve flight? How does TV work? How do elevators work? How exactly does a car engine make the car move? How does a radio work? Solar panels, wind turbines, computer mouse, phone signals, etc
If you are stuck try the sentence starter, ‘I wonder how…?’
Have the students share their research in small groups.