Packaging Redesign

Students learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we create and use plastic packaging - available to subscribers of The PrintLab Classroom

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Project Overview

In this creative project, students will learn about the circular economy before rethinking and redesigning the way we create, use and dispose of packaging. Through a series of video animations, a hands-on card sorting activity and a case-study presentation, students will be provided with an overview of the harmful plastics industry, together with an insight on how the circular economy concept can design out waste and positively redefine the life cycle of plastic packaging.

In the main part of the lesson, students are guided by a student portfolio and video tutorial to develop a prototype for a packaging product that uses circular economy principles. Ideas are transferred to CAD software before being 3D printed and presented to the rest of the class.

*With thanks to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Splosh for their contributions to this lesson plan*

Curriculum Details

The lesson can be incorporated into the study of maths, biology, design technology, geography, citizenship and computing. The material can be adapted for ages 11-16. The curriculum is aligned to ISTE, NGSS, CCSS and UK National Curriculum standards. A comprehensive list of standards met is included in the lesson platform.

Resources Included in Project:

  • Example 3D model of a 'zero-waste bottle' (STL file)

  • Plastic waste and circular economy animation videos (YouTube - Courtesy of The Ellen MacArthur Foundation)

  • Plastic life cycle challenge cards (PDF)

        • Circular economy case study presentation (PDF)

        • Student design workbooks & assessment rubric (PDF & Google Docs)

        • Tinkercad and Fusion 360 tutorial videos showing students how to design screw-cap bottles (hosted on PrintLab's student portal)

                Self-Paced Learning Option

                PrintLab's student portal is home to the online learning resources required for each of PrintLab’s lesson plans (CAD tutorial videos, explainer videos etc), but it is also structured in such a way that gives users the option to work through each project online in a self-paced manner without a teacher/instructor. The perfect solution for distance learning, 3D printing clubs, passion projects or self-paced learning at libraries and makerspaces.

                Inspire the Next Generation.