Lunch Box Design Challenge

Print Lesson


Students will be able to identify and describe how a material is used as an insulator to prevent heat flow between objects.

Big Idea

Students will design a lunchbox to prevent the heat flow between objects.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

To begin this lesson, I will lead a whole group discussion reviewing what we have learned about conductors and insulators thus far. We will talk about the different materials that we have tested throughout the different experiments in this unit. I will ask students to recall which materials worked best in keeping items warm and which materials worked best to keep items cool. Having this whole group discussion allows the students to recall information from previous experiments. We will review styrofoam, paper, cotton fabric, cotton balls, and aluminum foil. We will discuss if they are used as conductors or insulators how they effect the temperature of an object.


25 minutes

I will inform the students that they will be participating in a lunchbox design challenge. I will distribute the Engineering Design packets to the students. Based on what they have learned, they will need to create a lunch box using the materials that will be provided to them. The lunch box must be able to keep a frozen water bottle cool and a cup of warm water, warm.

I will group students into groups of four. The groups will receive popsicle sticks, styrofoam plates, cotton balls, aluminum pans, and aluminum foil. Each group will be responsible for completing steps one through three in their engineering packets.

As students complete the planning process, I will observe and ask the students questions about their design. Asking questions will help students to surface the "why" behind their design. It will also help students identify parts of the design which may or not be beneficial to the design process.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, students will review their lunchbox design with their group. They will share ideas and thoughts on the invention thus far. They will list any additional ideas in their Engineering and Design Packet. Students will complete their design in part two of this lesson.