Student Designed and Constructed Artifact Display
One of the most important goals of teaching authentically is to have the student own the project or experience. So, the very last thing that you would want to do is to buy expensive kits or materials. As a matter of fact, you really don’t want to purchase anything. The whole point is to have the student explore something and come up with their own approach and materials for the project.
While working on the Martian Colony Project we supplied nothing beyond standard classroom supplies. The kids found most of the materials they needed for the project. Most were recyclables and discarded items from around the house. We had an unlimited supply of cardboard boxes (most with the Amazon Logo on the side – no shortage of those). Lots of aluminum foil (for an outer-space look). Cardboard rolls, empty cans, newspapers, magazines, buttons…you name it and the kids found it. They were constantly researching (reading), planning (writing), and designing (math); figuring out creative ways to build what they wanted for the colony.
The creativity was amazing, the research was outstanding, the academic growth was huge. The concepts were internalized and owned by the students. The experience was authentic.