Real things are interesting, and play is powerful. School STEM programs love to talk about “real world problems,” but not everything is a problem.
Focusing mainly on “problems” can limit our scope, and it risks imposing a level of urgency (and responsibility) that can inhibit playfulness. So remember, real things are interesting, and play is powerful. Problems can be incredibly powerful inspirations for projects, but there’s an art to invoking them through a proper Call to Adventure. Let them come up naturally.
Show, don’t tell. This entire process is deeply constructivist and constructionist (learning by doing and by making), rather than being self-directed instruction (having knowledge passed down). In simple terms, it’s designed to help learners learn how to, not learn about.
In your early conversations with the learner, it’s important to shape and guide their inspiration towards doing, making, acting. Something to show, rather than just tell. The learning will absorb them more completely and will stick with them for longer if at the end of it they have something to show for it, and a story to tell about how they did it.