Educators talk a lot about including the 4 C’s in our classroom — creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. But what about adding a fifth C: Curiosity? When presented with a problem, we often go straight to looking for a solution. What if we took some time to explore the problem, and follow our curiosity? We might end up working towards a very different and innovative solution.
The increased focus on new science standards and practices had made it important to give students opportunities to exercise their curiosity. A good way to do this is with a challenge, one that takes a big idea, and lets students design, prototype and test different solutions.
Curiosity Machine is a site that offers hands-on engineering design challenges. Its inspiration videos are great hooks for getting students curious and into the design challenge. Teachers can sign up for a free account and access lesson materials. The site also offers teachers a way to create student accounts which allow students to upload and share their prototypes and process. NGSS K-8 alignment is also available.
Kami Thordarson is the director of technology integration for the Campbell Union School District in Campbell, CA. She focuses on instruction driving technology and helping teachers create real-world classrooms where lessons are engaging and students are empowered to follow their passions. With expertise in project-based learning and design thinking, she enjoys great storytelling, thinking like a designer, and learning through creative collaboration.
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