Read an article in my most recent issue of The Technology Teacher (april/2008) that made reference to a television show that I wasn't familiar with called the Design Squad. The program is built around a group of teenagers that are given a design challenge each week. I tuned in today to watch an episode called the "PVC Kayak Challenge". In my area Design Squad plays on Sunday mornings. No wonder I never saw it on my schedule. Luckily, I have Tivo and was able to watch it in the afternoon rather than get up early. I enjoyed it and thought it would be a fun show for school kids also. It is kind of like Junk Yard Wars only aimed at a younger age group and less dangerous challenges.
After the show I went to their web site and found a wealth of information including a set of challenges that could be utilized in most classrooms. I saw several that I'd done in the past and many that I'd use if I were still running a technology lab. Give the web site and the show a look-see...I think you will find a few ideas you can use.
[Cheng, Jack. "Excite Kids About Engineering." The Technology Teacher Apr 2008: 26-31.]
[Image captured from Deisgn Squad website: http://pbskids.org/designsquad/challenges/s2-ep2.html]