Librarian User GuideBike Lane BarriersZoo Animal EnclosuresVertical MazeWheelchair Accessible SwingPlayground Calm SpaceReconsidering Food PackagingCommunity Garden Watering SolutionsCommunity Garden Pest Management Solutions

Reconsidering Food Packaging

Greetings, Double-O-STEM Club Agents! You have been selected for an important mission. Dahlia needs your help with a problem at her community garden. Think about these questions as you watch the video. Write your answers in your notebook.

1. What grows in Dahlia’s Community Garden?

2. Why is Dahlia upset?

3. What does Dahlia learn from Reggie about the problem?

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-kfdD

After students watch the video, click the activity links below to start this mission.
 
Getting Started
 

In this Reconsidering Food Packaging case, students will use library resources to complete the following tasks listed below. The learner version of the case can be found using this link.

  • Watch the case introduction video and identify the main character's problem.
  • Research and brainstorm environmentally friendly food packaging solutions with peers.
  • Design and develop a basic food packaging prototype.
  • Gather feedback throughout the process and incorporate as needed.
  • Reflect on the process, findings, successes, and failures of the prototypes.

Learners will need a place to take notes as they brainstorm and research solutions to the problem. Although questions are presented in the agent section of the online chapter, this course also includes a downloadable handbook for each case with brief activity descriptions, questions, thinking prompts, and white space for taking notes. This is presented as an "agent handbook," as learners are acting as new agents helping the main character with the mission/problem. Librarians may choose to download and print this handbook for learners or have them do it. Alternatively, librarians may decide to have learners type answers on a computer or provide learners with a folder in which to place the printouts or spiral notebook in which to write answers, sketch ideas, etc. 

The following link to the handbook is also available to students in their student version of this book.

Double-O STEM Club Agent Handbook: Reconsidering Food Packaging

For your convenience, the student version of each activity is located in the "Think," "Create," and "Share & Grow" sections of this book.

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will determine parameters for what a successful solution to the problem entails in light of the contextual constraints.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.
  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will develop an environmentally friendly food packaging prototype to hold one or more types of produce presented in the case.
  • The agent will develop instruments to collect data regarding identified problems/solutions.
  • The agent will collect, analyze, and reflect on data from developed instruments.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.
  • The agent will revise prototypes based on evaluation feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.C.3: learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.C.4: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes sharing products with an authentic audience.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Learning Activities

Think

This activity introduces the case and the charge to develop environmentally friendly packaging to transport produce from an urban garden. Problems associated with the case involve reducing food waste and facilitating food transportation without damage. During this activity, Double-O STEM Club agents will identify and describe the main problem presented in the video, discuss possible solutions with peers, and formulate research questions based on identified problem(s) and prior knowledge.

Materials

  • This case
  • Notebooks and writing instruments for each agent to document ideas and questions
  • Computer with LCD projector/television display
  • Tool to capture student ideas (easel pad, whiteboard, computer)
  • Examples of produce packaging

Setup

This activity includes whole-class and group discussion. Set up an area that allows the librarian to introduce the case and share examples. Provide agents with notebooks and writing instruments and encourage them to capture ideas (through words and illustrations) as they work on this case. Allow students to brainstorm problems associated with the case and questions that may require additional research. Capture main ideas on a whiteboard, easel pad, or other medium. Be sure to ask agents if there are aspects of other cases they have completed that might apply in this case. 

Agent View

Activity 1: Question

Now that you have seen the video, work with other Double-O STEM Club agents to think about the problem and a solution. 

Guiding Questions:

  • What is the main problem?
  • What other problems did you notice?
  • What research questions need to be answered to help you design a solution?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering:

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials.

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry:

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.A.2: Learners display curiosity and initiative by recalling prior and background knowledge as context for new meaning.

During this activity, agents will use library resources to begin researching food packaging options for produce. They need to become familiar with how different produce items (e.g., strawberries, green onions, green beans, apples, spinach, tomatoes, etc.) are typically packaged in order to keep the items from getting smashed. They should start to create a list of qualities or criteria to consider when choosing packaging (e.g., Should people be able to see the produce? How strong should it be? Can the packaging be pliable or should it be stiff?). Agents will form research questions and receive instruction about how to answer those questions using library resources (e.g. reference and circulation materials, databases, internet searches). 

Materials

  • Agent handbook and additional notebook as needed for each student
  • Computers with internet access for individuals or small groups
  • Resources to capture brainstorming ideas and questions (e.g., easel pad, computer with LCD projector

Setup

This activity includes group discussion and individual research. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole class and small group discussion. Also setup resources to capture agent ideas/questions so that all agents can view postings easily. Ensure that agents will have easy access to library catalogues and other search tools.

Agent View

Activity 2: Research Food Packaging

Use library resources to begin researching food packaging options for produce. Create a list of qualities to consider when choosing packaging materials. Share your notes with other Double-O STEM Club agents.

Guiding Questions:

  • How are different produce items (e.g., strawberries, green beans, apples, spinach, tomatoes, etc.) typically packaged to keep them from getting smashed?
  • Should people be able to see the produce?
  • How strong should it be?
  • Can the packaging be pliable or should it be stiff?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will articulate questions suitable for library research based on identified problems in the case.
  • The agent will determine parameters for what a successful solution to the problem entails in light of the contextual constraints.
  • The agent will use library databases and circulation materials to examine identified research questions.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Based on library research, and/or group discussions, agents will determine what food package(s) they should try to improve and the evaluation criteria used to measure improvement. A draft evaluation checklist or rubric should be developed to help agents know what they should strive to accomplish as they develop and test prototypes. At a minimum, evaluation criteria should emphasize biodegradable and/or environmentally friendly materials. 

Materials

  • Tools to capture agent ideas and evaluation criteria (e.g., easel pad, computer with LCD projector)
  • Printer for paper-based criteria or online tool (e.g., MS Office 365, Google Forms)
  • Agent notebooks to document ideas

Setup

This activity includes small and whole group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Focus the seating arrangement on the tool used to capture ideas.  

Agent View

Activity 3: Evaluation Criteria

Now that you've done general research about food packaging, it is time to think about what improvements you would make to solve Dahlia’s food packaging problems and how to measure those improvements. If not already provided for you, create an evaluation checklist to use when testing a prototype. Discuss answers to the guiding questions in this section with your fellow Double-O STEM Club agents. Remember to take notes.

Guiding Questions:

  • What environmental factors should you consider? (For example, are the materials biodegradable?)
  • What type of structure will you use to ensure the produce doesn’t get smashed or bruised?
  • How will you transport the food safely to avoid spills?
  • How will you keep the produce cool?
  • Does the packaging allow you to stack items?
  • How does the packaging look?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will describe three benefits and limitations of paper, plastic, glass, and metal foil in the construction of food packaging.
  • The agent will demonstrate and/or describe three different packaging techniques used by food manufacturers to protect fruits and vegetables.
  • The agent will develop instruments to collect data regarding identified problems/solutions.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.A.1: Learners display curiosity and initiative by formulating questions about a personal interest or a curricular topic.
  • A.B.1: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes using evidence to investigate questions.
  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.

Based on the evaluation criteria developed in the previous activity, individuals or groups of agents will use provided materials to develop new packaging prototypes. If appropriate, have agents build packaging prototypes for other groups and library patrons to test.

Materials

  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Glue
  • Paper
  • Card stock
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper towels
  • Example packages that use differing structural and insulating techniques (e.g., padded envelopes, egg carton, biodegradable packing peanuts)  
  • Copies of prototype evaluation criteria
  • Agent notebooks to record ideas
  • Camera to document prototypes
  • Computer with LCD Projector

Setup

This activity is largely hands-on. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Make sure there is ample space for agents to cut, fold, tape, and glue materials together to build prototypes. Organize craft materials so they are in a central location with easy access to agents. Encourage agents to document ideas in their notebooks and later refer to them for ideas and insights. 

You may want to begin the lesson by reviewing packaging purposes and examples as well as structural and insulating techniques explored in class. Be sure to use the camera to capture work samples and design processes during the session.  

Agent View

Activity 4: Package Prototype

Time to start building! Use library materials to create a prototype (an example for testing). Don’t worry about it looking nice. Have someone in your group write down the design decisions you make along the way.

Guiding Questions:

  • Based on the problem you mentioned earlier, do you think your design will work to solve Dahlia’s issue?
  • What strengths and weaknesses do you see in your design?

Learning Objectives

  • Based on findings from conducted library research, the agent will hypothesize one or more solutions to an identified problem in the case.
  • The agent will develop an environmentally friendly food packaging prototype to hold one or more types of produce presented in the case.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

  • 3-5 ETS1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that includes criteria for success and constraints on time, cost, or materials.
  • 3-5-ETS1-2 Engineering Design: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions for a problem and compare constraints and success criteria.
  • 3-5-ETS1-3 Engineering Design: Plan to carry out fair tests where variables are controlled and failure points considered to improve prototypes.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Earth and Human Activity: Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.B.2: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes devising and implementing a plan to fill knowledge gaps.
  • A.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.
  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.D.1-4: learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

As agents build prototypes, they will be given materials (e.g., water, dirt, paper, rocks) to test their prototypes based on the evaluation criteria established and refined in earlier sessions. Agents should capture these evaluations and learn how to use and reflect on them to drive future prototypes. Reflections should focus on the effectiveness of prototypes and design decisions, how use materials influence evaluations, hypotheses and design ideas, and so forth. Be sure to discuss and revise evaluation criteria (as needed) based on agent prototypes, design foci, and so forth. As appropriate let other groups and library patrons test the packaging prototypes using providing evaluation criteria. 

Materials

  • Copies of prototype evaluation criteria
  • Fill materials (e.g., water, dirt, shredded paper, pebbles) 
  • Paper towels, sanitation wipes, and other clean-up materials 
  • Agent notebooks to record ideas
  • Camera to document prototypes
  • Computer with LCD Projector to share ideas

Setup

This activity is largely hands-on and can get messy. Setup in a location that eases clean-up (e.g., near a sink or restrooms, non-carpet floors). Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around a hands-on activity. Make sure there is ample space for agents to test prototypes. You may also want to provide prototype construction materials so agents can refine their work as they test it. Encourage agents to document ideas and outcomes in their notebooks. Place filler materials so they are in a central location with easy access to agents. You may want to begin the lesson by reviewing packaging purposes and reviewing prototype evaluation criteria. If library patrons and families will be provided with prototypes, establish how they will provide feedback. Be sure to use the camera to capture work samples and design processes during the session.  

Agent View

Activity 5: Prototype Testing & Revisions

How do we know that your designs work, agents? We need you to put your designs to the test. Use materials you can find, like water, dirt, rocks, or real fruits and vegetables (if available) for your tests. As a group, think about what questions you need to ask during your test. Use the evaluation checklist that you wrote earlier. Write down the outcomes.

Guiding Questions:

  • What do you hypothesize (or think would happen) during prototype testing?
  • Does your prototype meet all of the criteria?
  • Did anything unexpected happen in what you designed?
  • If you were to try it again, what would you do & why?
  • Do you need more information to design something that would solve Dahlia’s problem?
  • Where can you find that information?
  • Based on findings from your prototype testing, how will you revise?
  • Be prepared to explain your decisions.

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will develop instruments to collect data regarding identified problems/solutions.
  • The agent will collect, analyze, and reflect on data from developed instruments.
  • The agent will revise work based on analyzed data and feedback.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.C.3: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes acting on feedback to improve. 
  • A.C.4: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes sharing products with an authentic audience.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Near the end of this case, agents will showcase their best prototype and the design decisions/ideas, and tests that led them to their solution. This may require them to make a new version of their prototype (if testing and reflection damaged or destroyed their prototype). Encourage agents to focus on a quality build over aesthetics (if needed). Then have agents describe their package, the design decisions they used to develop it, how testing and reflection improved their product, and how they would continue to perfect the model if given the chance. Use this session to focus on celebrating accomplishments and creative thinking.

Materials

  • Copies of agent prototypes
  • Summarized feedback from evaluation criteria
  • Photographs and video captured from prior sessions
  • Agent notebooks to remember ideas
  • Presentation tools (e.g., easel pads, presentation software)
  • Celebration Materials (e.g., party noise makers, confetti, banners)
  • Computers for agents to develop presentations (as applicable)
  • LCD projector (as applicable) to project presentations

Setup

This activity includes individual and group discussion. Prior to the lesson, set up a seating arrangement that allows for whole and small group discussion around group presentations. Make sure to decorate the presentation space with celebration materials. Provide agents with their notebooks, photographs and videos of prototypes and testing examples, summaries of evaluation criteria for their prototypes, and a copy of their best prototype. Also provide tools for groups to develop a short presentation about their work.

Agent View

Activity 6: Showcase and Reflection

Great job, agents! I knew I could count on you to solve Dahlia’s food packaging problem. Now it is time to share your designs. As a group, present your prototype (make a new one if yours was damaged during testing).

Guiding Questions:

  • Why did you make the package the way you did?
  • How did you improve the design based on your testing?

Learning Objectives

  • The agent will describe the main problem associated with the presented case.
  • The agent will identify benefits and limitations of their prototype using evaluation criteria.

Next Generation Science Standards - Engineering

American Association of School Librarians Standards - Inquiry

  • A.C.1: Learners adapt, communicate, and exchange learning products with others in a cycle that includes interacting with content presented by others.
  • A.D.1-4: Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge, engaging in sustained inquiry, enacting new understanding through real-world connections, and using reflection to guide informed decisions.

Celebration

Excellent food packaging designs, agents! Watch the video below to wrap up this Double-O STEM Club mission.

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube https://edtechbooks.org/-SopX