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

In this Reconsidering Food Packaging case, you will use library resources to:

  • 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.

Below is a link to your agent handbook where you can take notes as you brainstorm and research solutions to Dahlia's problem with your fellow Double-O STEM Club agents.

Double-O STEM Club Agent Handbook: Reconsidering Food Packaging

Learning Activities

Think

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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, share 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