This story-based curriculum utilizes guided and open-ended lessons, including continue-at-home activities, to help children/students to:
In the first unit – Secret Agent – Gary and his sister help capture tricksters and robbers, find lost jewellery and clean up after a traffic accident. As the children build conveyor belts, fans, cranes, squeezers and grabbers, they are introduced, step-by-step, to the basics of gearing, using pulleys, levers, wheels & axles.
In the second unit – Desert Island – Gary and his family become stranded on a desert island. Gary and his sister invent a variety of wind powered and motorized vehicles and mechanisms that, for example, crack coconuts, sweep away bugs and entertain them on long, dreary evenings. In this unit children investigate how different gears, wheel sizes, pulley types and so on, affect things like power and speed.
In the third unit – Circus Calamity – the circus train crashes and won’t be coming to town, so Gary and his friends put on their own circus show. The children build a variety of rides and invent circus tricks using, for example, motorized timers, merry-go-rounds and fishing hooks. In this unit, children are increasingly encouraged to come up with their own inventions.
In the fourth unit – Magnificent Creatures – Gary and his sister take their friends for a ride in their travel machine to a land of mechanical creatures. The children build creepy crawlers, spider crabs, gorillas and other weird and wonderful moving creatures. In the second half of this unit, each child designs and makes a mechanism and prepares a script for a show of all the great things the children have learned.