Let me give you an example of what I mean. To introduce my kiddos to circuits they each receive a small wire, a battery, and a light bulb. I ask them to make it light. I tell them there are four ways you can hold it to make it light so when they find one way, try to find the other way. Here are a few pictures of them experimenting (sorry they are so dark, we had all the lights off so we could really "tell" if we made our light bulb light.)
With all of the "things" we need to cover I know it is hard to give students that time to figure things like this out on their own, but they are so motivated by it.
When and how do you give your students time to discover? How do you motivated your students?