Lesson Plan
120-150 Minutes (2-3 class sessions)

Sensitive Delivery

  • Engineering
  • Math
  • Physical Science
  • STEM


In this lesson, students will be presented with a real-world problem they need to solve – developing a “lunch box” package that utilizes self-heating and self-cooling technology to keep food from going bad at a local hospital. In teams, students will think through the lunch box design process from the vantage of several careers (materials scientist, packaging specialist, designer and food safety specialist). They will utilize the steps of the Engineering Design Process to brainstorm ideas, create a product prototype and make necessary refinements before ultimately presenting their product. Along the way, students will use mathematics to learn package design, understand the science behind heating and cooling and apply a variety of skills to develop a useful product.

Critical Thinking

Defining the Problem
Designing Solutions
Creating or Prototyping
Refining or Improving
Communicating Results


Understand the importance and relevance of temperature-regulation and specially designed packaging materials
Apply knowledge of materials science and chemistry to the design of a prototype
Create a prototype designed to address the complex real-world issue of food safety
Develop an equation to determine the total amount of surface area needed to design a package

Suggested Time

120-150 Minutes (2-3 class sessions)