In 8th grade Technology we concentrate on safety, critical thinking skills, and problem solving. The students are given challenges where they need to solve a problem. Besides the problem they are also given the constraints for solving the problem. After that the students are released to brainstorm and come up with several possible solutions. From these possible solutions the students use a process called optimization to choose the best one. The students are often in groups as I feel it helps them to think of better solutions to each problem as well as work on social skills. Once the students, and I, are happy with the solution that they picked, they are released into the lab to safety work with the tools, machines, and materials provided for them.