Hands-on Activity: Package Those Foods!
Educational Standards :
Pre-Req Knowledge (Return to Contents)
Prior to this activity, students should have a basic understanding of the following:
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
After this activity, students should be able to:
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Each group needs:
To share with the entire class:
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
One specialty in engineering focuses on the food packaging industry. Food packaging engineers produce packages for all types of food that are both marketable and functional in selling the food.
Today, you have been contracted by the biggest food company, Food Kings, to create a package for one of their food products. However, you only get paid if you create a package that makes Food Kings lots of money. So prepare for your first task as a food package engineer!
Vocabulary/Definitions (Return to Contents)
Procedure (Return to Contents)
Three important functions of food packages, as taught in the Food Packaging lesson, are:
The challenge is for groups to strive to have their packages fulfill these three functions.
Students must first choose what types of materials they want to use to make their packages. They can research this through the food packaging materials worksheet as well as the Internet, based on how extensive the teacher want the research to be. The materials must correspond to the physical and chemical changes that are involved in the group's food.
In addition to choosing package materials, students must also choose the structural designs of their packages. Following are a number of structures and their characteristics and purposes:
Before the Activity
A day or two before the activity:
The day of the activity:
With the Students
Attachments (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
Food Analysis: Ask students to describe the physical properties of their foods and identify the chemical and physical changes that they need to pay attention to in the creation of their food packages.
Activity Embedded Assessment
Student Package Evaluations: Students use the attached Food Packaging Evaluation Worksheet to evaluate their food packages as well as the food packages of three other groups. Have groups each place their package on a desk with a brief description. Then, have all the students walk around individually to fill out their evaluations on different packages.
Teacher Package Evaluations: Use the Food Packaging Rubric. to evaluate and grade the groups' designs.
Activity Extensions (Return to Contents)
Prior to this activity, have students create their own food that requires packaging. The creation can involve design, analysis of the nutritional content of the food, discussion of the genetic modification of foods, among other scientific aspects of food engineering.
Activity Scaling (Return to Contents)
References (Return to Contents)
American Management Association. Packaging Division. Packaging for Retail Impact, with Specific Applications to the Dairy, Meat, Candy and Baking Industries. New York, NY: American Management Association, 1965.
"Packaging Food in Glass." Packaging Materials for Food - Practical Answers. Published September 25, 2006. Practical Action. The Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development. Accessed April 26, 2007. http://www.teachengineering.org/collection/duk_/activities/duk_foodpackage_music_act/packaging_food_in_glass_reference.pdf
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2007 Duke University
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Engineering K-PhD Program, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
Acknowledgements (Return to Contents)
This content was developed by the MUSIC (Math Understanding through Science Integrated with Curriculum) Program in the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University under National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. DGE 0338262. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the NSF, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.