In the Eco Toys and Tools project, Middle School students students are encouraged to be curious and innovative in the ways that they discover science. Students are approached by the CEO of “local firm” Eco Tools and Toys (ET&T), to collaborate in teams to design and construct an electrical device that meets what the firm’s customers need.
Students are tasked to design and manufacture the tools/toys that only use electrochemical cells (batteries), solar power, hand-held generators, solenoids, or are fruit/vegetable-powered. They are also tasked with using as much repurposed or upcycled materials as possible. Students cannot create toys and tools that must be plugged into wall outlets, use large batteries.or use chemicals that are hazardous to the user or the environment.
This project allows students freedom to explore and innovate in the study of electricity science class. Students have come up with a dazzling array of products, notably students created a talking teddy bear, a light-up basketball hoop, a battery operated boat and a revolving disco ball. Students find this approach gives them a passion for being inventive but importantly, teaches them about the importance of teamwork, perseverance, and even research (students interviewed ISP Elementary students and Maintenance staff to find out what makes the perfect toy or tool).