Accidents happen, sometimes your packages are dropped, and letters get bent. How can you protect a special delivery from such unfortunate mishaps? Students will use their creative skills to determine a way to mail raw spaghetti. The students will need to choose a way to safely package their raw spaghetti using only the materials provided. To test the packing designs, the spaghetti will be mailed through the postal system and evaluated after delivery.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY [1 = Least Difficult : 5 = Most Difficult]
20 minutes plus discussion time
$20-$30 per class
WHAT WILL THE STUDENTS LEARN?
1.1 Identify materials used to accomplish a design task based on a specific property, i.e. weight, strength, hardness, and flexibility.
2.3 Identify relevant design features (e.g., size, shape, weight) for building a prototype of a solution to a given problem.
Design and packaging techniques.BACKGROUND INFORMATION:
What happens to mail in the postal system.
Sending mail in the postal system is not always the safest. Mail can get bent or dropped, etc. It is up to the student to design a safe packaging for the spaghetti.
Sells different packaging materials such as boxes and packing materials
History of “moving the mail”- explore all the links
USPS shipping suggestions, regulations, and material descriptions
Related activity - Egg drop and the packaging considerations
Raw spaghetti (handful per student)PREPARATION:
8 ½" x 11" Envelopes
Talk about what happens to the mail after it is placed in the post office mailbox.
Discuss with the class, what might happen to their package as it travels through
1. Divide students into small groups.
2. Give each group a handful of raw spaghetti and an envelope.
3. Have students package the spaghetti so that it may be mailed. Remind students that they may only use the materials provided.
4. To test the packing styles, students can mail the spaghetti. Have the students mail the spaghetti back to the school. Make sure each student puts their name on their envelope so that when the spaghetti comes back the students will know which one is theirs.
What packaging worked the best? Why?REFERENCES:
What is important to keep in mind when packing the spaghetti?
What is the best way to pack it?
What happened to the spaghetti that did not make it through the mail safely?
How can this activity be applied to real life situations?
How many students mailed their spaghetti safely?
See Associated Download.
See Associated Download.