Recently our Little Learning Warriors took on a new challenge in industrial engineering — to design a package that protects a single Pringle chip from breaking when passed through a simulated mail delivery.
The students were reminded that there is a significant amount of engineering behind how many things are made, and learned that scientists are always developing new products and figuring out creative ways to make them. This includes product packaging, taking Pringles for example, that is designed to be shipped all over the world and to not only only look good and “catch the eye”, but also to protect the product from breaking while it’s being shipped through the mail.
Using only bubble wrap, tape, two plastic bags, cotton balls, and packing peanuts, they designed a protective package for a single Pringle chip which were then collected in a single bin. With this bin of packaged Pringles, Tech Warrior Raujee simulated a mail delivery — shaking, tossing, and dropping the bin — to test how well each package protected its Pringle.
Upon examining the results and efficacy of their packages, only two groups found they had created a package strong enough to protect their Pringle. The Warriors were reassured, however, as they learned that part of the engineering process is to redesign something if it doesn’t initially meet the desired outcomes, and discussed what could be done differently to improve the packages for next time.