Want to make project-based learning even more relevant to third-graders? In one classroom at East Oakview Elementary, teacher Annie Powers tasked her students to design toys that incorporated friction, gravity, and balanced and unbalanced forces as part of a science unit in forces and motion.
Students worked in groups to come up with a toy they would play with themselves, design and build using available classroom materials, hone their problem-solving skills to solve any flaws, then write about the process clearly enough that their peers could build their own.
A big takeaway: persevering through challenges. “It’s all about the learning,” Powers said. “We want them to see that they can flounder, try again and stay positive.”