This design activity explores the engineering behind the conveyor belt and considers the impact this invention has had on transportation and the coordinated shipping and delivery of goods.
Students work in teams to design and build a conveyor system given a limited number of materials. They will create a working conveyor that moves items 4 feet, with a 90 degree turn.Student teams design their system, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class.
Click here to download the teacher notes for Mechanical Engineering.
Learn about engineering design and redesign.
Learn about manufacturing processes and conveyor systems.
Learn how engineering can help solve society’s challenges.
Learn about teamwork and problem solving.
|NGSS Standard||Student Action|
|HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.||Students comply with criteria and constraints to design and build a conveyor system given a limited number of materials.|
NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas
|NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea||Student Action|
|ETS.HS.1C.a Criteria may need to be broken down into simpler ones that can be approached systematically, and decisions about the priority of certain criteria over others (trade-offs) may be needed.||Students make decisions and prioritize in order to comply with criteria and constraints to design and build a conveyor system given a limited number of materials.|
Expected Lesson Duration
Lesson 1 - Introduction: 30 - 60 minutes
Lesson 2 - Projects: 150 - 180 minutes
Lesson 3 - Quiz: 30 - 60 minutes