Each group was given a fairy tale creature with a problem that needed solving. For example, one group was assigned Jack and Jill. Jack and Jill were extremely tired of having concussions from tumbling down the hill while fetching pails of water! Jack and Jill “hired” one group to build a much needed compound machine to help them retrieve water and safely get down the hill. Other groups built machines for Humpty Dumpty, Rapunzel, The Three Little Pigs, and the Big, Bad Wolf!
The students were extremely creative, employing each group member for specific jobs (architect, chief builder, set design artist, author) and utilizing each other’s strengths. We saw pulleys, wheel and axles, levers, motors attached to pulleys, inclined planes, and screws all combined to create a compound machine that was up to the specific tasks of their respective clients.
This project is a great example Project based learning. Project based learning allows each student to “shine” as their strengths are highlighted. It allows for true creativity and imagination; all of which our students have in abundance!