These are the stages we're currently using in lesson development. If you're looking to teach a lesson, you'll want one that is at stage 2 or later. We'd also like it if you made note of the kind of feedback we're looking for at the stage the lesson you're teaching is at. Thanks!

Stage 0: Research Stage

For writers:

This is a place to put basic research for your project. For example, notes about the science and engineering principles, links to other useful information, brainstorming, or anything else you need to get started on the lesson!

When you leave this stage, you should be sure on all the scientific principles involved, and have enough research to write a draft outline of the lesson.

Stage 1: First Draft

For writers:

In this stage, you should write a first draft of the lesson – a bare bones outline of what happens in the lesson, and a draft materials list.

You should have already done the necessary background research to know roughly what experiments you should do and what background information you should cover – but you don't have to have tested any of the experiments yet!

It may happen that this is the first time you really think about how long the lesson will take, and consequently, how many lessons it should be. Therefore, two or three lessons may end up sharing stage 0 and stage 1 pages. That's ok - just make separate lessons at stage 2.

Stage 2: First Testing & Research - research, bench-testing, prototyping building etc required to teach the first lesson.

For writers:

This is the first teachable draft of the lesson – meaning that you've physically tested all the experiments, build sessions or demos it involves. It doesn't have to be polished, but you should be able to teach it to a class and be confident things will work!

About one week into doing bench testing for this lesson, you should schedule a time to teach it for the first time.

For teachers:

If you're teaching a stage 2 lesson, you're probably teaching it for the first time! We'd like to hear about any major issues that arise when teaching it so we can sort out big problems early on.

Stage 3: “Monster-free” draft – teachable by other people

For writers:

If you're getting ready to write this lesson, you (or someone else!) should have taught it at least once. Teaching a lesson for the first time sometimes reveals changes that need to be made or problems that weren't obvious on paper.

This is where you should update the lesson to include these. You should also make sure it can be read, understood and taught be other people, since other people might be testing it!

For teachers:

If you're teaching a stage 3 lesson, we'd mostly like to hear about the flow of the lesson - did it make sense to do things in the order you did? Was there information missing at any point? Would talking about something sooner have made something else more understandable? Should more time have been spent discussing the results of an experiment? Of course, any other feedback is welcome too.

Stage 4: Testing to solidify lesson structure

For writers:

This is the lesson draft where you try to solidify the structure of the lesson.

Before writing this draft, the Stage 3 draft must have been taught at least twice by people other than yourself! Make sure you get good feedback from them on how the lesson went, particularly the structure. Ask whoever is teaching it to give you feedback on: Did the lesson flow well? Did each activity have enough time allotted to it? Were concepts explained in the right order? Was there a good balance between individual and group activities? Between theoretical and practical work?

Make sure you incorporate any other changes that need to be made too (such as suggestions for good ways of explaining things), but make sure you're happy making this structure permanent.

For teachers:

If you're teaching a stage 4 lesson, we'd mostly like to hear about the background information. Is it complete and understandable? Are included illustrations clear and helpful? Are there other illustrations you'd like to see? Are there enough analogies or ways to explain things? Did you include additional information or explanations that worked especially well? Of course, other feedback is welcome too.

Stage 5: Testing to solidify explanations and background material

For writers:

Before writing this draft, the Stage 4 draft should have been taught at least two more times. This time, whoever is teaching it should focus on the way students respond to the material, and report back on what worked well.

Do students understand the analogies used? Did any teachers have to make up their own way of explaining things on the spot? Did they come across any particularly good ways to stimulate discussion or introduce a concept? Put these in this version of the lesson!

This is also the lesson where you should focus on presentation – make sure it can be easily read and understood, and include pictures and diagrams as required.

For teachers:

If you're teaching a stage 5 lesson, the intention is that it is in it's semi-permanent form. However, we'd still like to hear how it went for you, and if there was anything special about your situation (large class size, lack of electricity, students with more or less background knowledge, etc.) it would be helpful to everyone if you shared how you changed the lesson to meet those needs.

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