Mechanical Engineering


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.

Teacher Notes

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  • 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 Standards

  • 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.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • 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.

Expected Lesson Duration

Lesson 1 - Introduction: 30 - 60 minutes

Lesson 2 - Projects: 150 - 180 minutes

Lesson 3 - Quiz: 30 - 60 minutes