Shipping for Survival

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In this activity, learners explore how packaging engineers develop customized shipping and packaging containers to meet the needs of many different industries. Learners learn about different packages that have been engineered to transport hearts for surgery, blood for analysis, and foods to retain freshness. Learners then work in teams to build a container that will allow a flower to be shipped without damage and with water using everyday items. Flowers must remain fresh and not wilted for 24 hours after being sealed in the box.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$5 - $10 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Student Resource Sheets
  • Student Worksheets
  • A fresh flower with a stem cut to about 7cm
  • Water
  • Cotton balls
  • Plastic
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber bands
  • String
  • Paper clips
  • Cardboard
  • Tape
  • Newspaper
  • Plastic wrap
  • Foil
  • Wooden dowels
  • Other materials as needed


  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Technology
      • Medical Technology
      • Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Research and Development
      • Invention and Innovation
      • Problem Solving
      • Troubleshooting and Maintenance

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment
  • Transportation


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



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