Fun Factory

Industrial Engineering

Program ● Interactive ● Grades PK-2

The Junior Industrial Engineering classes introduce our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of simple machinery, cooperative building, and the assembly line process. Through open and focused exploration, students explore and construct simple machines and then use an assembly line process to produce a delicious treat!

Industrial Engineering plays a larger role in our daily lives than most would imagine. Individuals employed in this fast-growing field are accountable for maintaining high standards of efficiency in factory settings and ensuring all systems are optimized for maximum production output. Industrial engineers design machinery, parts, and systems that help to promote a steady workflow and minimize many different types of economical waste. Examples of an Industrial Engineer’s responsibilities:

  • Understand human factors and how the worker plays an integral and sometimes irreplaceable role in the manufacturing process.
  • Design programs and systems to increase or optimize productivity.
  • Manage factories, workers, transportation, and other factors related to the distribution of goods.
  • Develop product quality control management systems and aid in financial planning and analysis with company owners or manufacturers.
  • Reduce or eliminate occupational safety hazards through careful planning of workspaces in order to minimize the risk of injury.

Introduction to Industrial Engineering

During the Introduction to Industrial Engineering lesson, students will learn about the job of an industrial engineer. They will have the opportunity to create and participate in operating a pretend factory in the classroom. They will act as industrial engineers as they determine the best way to manufacture a supply of beaded necklaces, considering: 1) the arrangement of the factory space and supplies and 2) the process for assembling the necklaces.

Manufacturing Mini-Books

The Manufacturing Mini-Books activity is an introduction to the assembly line process. Students will put on their bakers’ hats – literally – and work together to compile a mini recipe book that correlates with the next lesson...Mmm, ice cream!

Simple Machines - Inclined Planes

Teachers will give students a basic introduction to all six simple machines during the first Simple Machines lesson through story and song. Next, students will investigate further the properties of inclined planes through open exploration. They will have time to experiment creating their own inclined planes using vinyl gutters, foam pipe insulation, and marbles.

This lesson has also been used as camp and birthday party lessons
Camp: Engineers Under Construction (link)
      Lesson Name: Bring on the Machines 
Party: Beach Party (link)
      Lesson Name: Planes and Levers

Simple Machines - Levers

During the Simple Machines - Lever lesson, the teacher will introduce students to everyday examples of levers. They will learn that levers are everywhere and that most objects with a handle are considered levers. Students will practice using a large-scale lever as a class, and then will construct their own model of a lever using a pencil and a jumbo craft stick.

This lesson has also been used as camp and birthday party lessons
Camp: Pirate Academy (link)
      Lesson Name: Loading Cargo 
Party: Under Construction (link)
      Lesson Name: Planes and Levers

Simple Machines - Pulleys

During Simple Machines – Pulleys, students will learn about the properties of simple pulleys. Then they will put their knowledge to work as they construct and operate a pulley delivery system for use in a simulated disaster situation.

This lesson has also been used as camp and birthday party lessons
Camp: Pirate Academy (link)
      Lesson Name: Loading Cargo 
Camp: Engineers Under Construction (link)
      Lesson Name: Bring on the Machines 
Party: Under Construction (link)
      Lesson Name: Pulleys

Teamwork Treats

Teamwork Treats further develops the concept of the assembly line process, while at the same time rewarding students with a delicious treat. Students will also learn how to accurately measure ingredients using various tools during the preparation of the ice cream.

This lesson has also been used as camp and birthday party lessons
Camp: Kelvin's Kitchen (link)
      Lesson Name: Teamwork Treats 
Party: Frozen Kingdom (link)
      Lesson Name: Ice Cream Factory
Party: Baker’s Delight (link)
      Lesson Name: Ice Cream Factory