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Packaging Design, Grade 6: STEM Road Map for Middle School

edited by: Carla C. Johnson, Janet B. Walton, and Erin E. Peters-Burton

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Packaging Design outlines a journey that will steer your students toward authentic problem solving while grounding them in integrated STEM disciplines. As are the other volumes in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series, this book is designed to meet the growing need to infuse real-world learning into K–12 classrooms.

The book is an interdisciplinary module that uses project- and problem-based learning. Because success in the 21st-century workplace requires blending content and communication skills, the lessons prompt students to do the following:
• Explore how marketing, packaging, and communications connect. Students will examine how to repurpose a product, or market it to new customers, through innovative containers such as nested packages (or packages within packages).
• Build persuasive writing and speaking skills. Using PowerPoint presentations and social media campaigns, students must convince a client that their repackaged product is marketable and then convince customers to buy it.
• Develop content knowledge. For example, as students think about nested packages, they learn about geometric properties of three-dimensional shapes and engineering design.
• Consider the complexities of marketing, from grappling with sustainability issues to meeting customer needs while making a profit. Activities include designing a package that keeps tortilla chips from breaking and transforming an old product with new packaging and marketing techniques.

The STEM Road Map Curriculum Series is anchored in the Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the Framework for 21st Century Learning. In-depth and flexible, Packaging Design can be used as a whole unit or in part to meet the needs of districts, schools, and teachers who are charting a course toward an integrated STEM approach.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

About the Editors and Authors


Part 1: The STEM Road Map: Background, Theory, and Practice

1: Overview of the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Standards-Based Approach

Themes in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

The Need for an Integrated STEM Approach

Framework for STEM Integration in the Classroom

The Need for the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series


2: Strategies Used in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Project- and Problem-Based Learning

Engineering Design Process

Learning Cycle

STEM Research Notebook

The Role of Assessment in the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Self-Regulated Learning Theory in the STEM Road Map Modules

Safety in STEM


Part 2: Packaging Design: STEM Road Map Module

3: Packaging Design Module Overview

Module Summary

Established Goals and Objectives

Challenge or Problem for Students to Solve: Product Design Challenge

Content Standards Addressed in This STEM Road Map Module

STEM Research Notebook

Module Launch

Prerequisite Skills for the Module

Potential STEM Misconceptions

SRL Process Components

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction Within This Module

Strategies for English Language Learners

Safety Considerations for the Activities in This Module

Desired Outcomes and Monitoring Success

Assessment Plan Overview and Map

Module Timeline



4: Improving Bridge Design Lesson Plans

Lesson Plan 1: The Product

Lesson Plan 2: The Packaging

Lesson Plan 3: Marketing Your Product in a Global Economy


5: Transforming Learning With Packaging Design and the STEM Road Map Curriculum Series

Appendix: Content Standards Addressed in This Module


Download a sample chapter

Grade Levels

Middle School


Assessment Curriculum Engineering Instructional Materials Interdisciplinary Lesson Plans Physical Science STEM Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies


Type NSTA Press BookPub Date 7/1/2018Pages 180ISBN 978-1-68140-452-3Stock # PB425X10

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

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