Theme Boxes for the Science Center - I like the flashlight. Light bulb in unplugged lamp. Plug it in, under supervision, to see if it works. Put beaters on a mixer . Need to look around for other authentic tasks,Especially for higher grade levels!
Invention Idea Box (School Kids).great for critical thinking! I had a "Building Box" in my room last year where I added items I thought kids could use to build things. (It was usually things I would otherwise throw away or recycle.) The kids loved it!