Fourth-grade students took on the ultimate challenge of designing package for chips under the direction of GATE teachers Jennifer Kopach and Joanna Sovek. Students sent a single Pringle potato chip through the mail to students at North Allegheny by creating the best possible package to protect the chip.
Most of the students enjoyed the challenged were highly successful in their design and packaging. Students were able to use a variety of materials except for glass, wood, metal, hard plastic, packing peanuts or bubble wrap. The packaging was required to fit in a 9x13 envelope.
The big idea for the engineering project was to apply science concepts to the creation of something useful. The project helped involved students understanding and minimizing the forces acting on an object with package design.
After the design and shipping phases, students logged on to Google Hangouts via i-pads for the big reveal at North Allegheny, who received their shipments.
Students were able to connect up with students at North Allegheny, who opened their packages. Some revealed broken chips while others revealed chips that were fully intact.
Some students had success and others found that their designs needed work.
Fourth-grader Austin Cwynar said he wished he would have used cotton balls for his design. Fourth-grader Michael Pifer said he has some new ideas for a redesign.
“Mine was okay, but the box was really small,” he said. “I would make my box bigger next time.”