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)
There is a specialty in engineering which focuses on the food packaging industry. Food packaging engineers have to work hard to 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 will only get paid if you create a package that will make 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)
The three functions of a food package, as taught in the Food Packaging lesson, are:
Each group must strive to have their packages fulfill these three functions.
Students must first choose what types of materials they want to make their packages out of. They can research this through the food packaging materials worksheet as well as the Internet, based on how extensive you want the research to be. The materials must correspond to the physical and chemical changes that are involved in a group's food.
Other than choosing materials for the package, students must also choose the structural design of their package. 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 the students to describe the physical properties of their food and identify the chemical and physical changes that they need to pay attention to in the creation of their food package.
Activity Embedded Assessment
Student Package Evaluations - Students use the attached Food Packaging Evaluation worksheet to evaluate their food package as well as the food packages of three other groups. Groups should each place their package on a desk with a brief description. Then, the students should all walk around individually to fill out their evaluations on different packages.
Teacher Package Evaluations - You should now grade the groups' work according to the Food Packaging Rubric. The rubric provides an assessment tool for evaluating their designs.
Activity Extensions (Return to Contents)
Students could create their own food prior to this lesson to be packaged. 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: American Management Association, 1965.
Packaging Materials for Food - Practical Answers. Published September 25, 2006. Practical Action. The Schumacher Centre for Technology & Development. Accessed 4/26/07. Packaging Food in Glass
Copyright© 2007 by Engineering K-Ph.D. Program, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
including copyrighted works from other educational institutions and/or U.S. government agencies; all rights reserved.
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Engineering K-Ph.D. Program, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University
Last Modified: April 24, 2014