Unit Overview

Students use their understanding of simple machines to engineer a factory system.

  • Grades 1–5 (Designed for grades 3–5; includes modifications for grades 1–2.)
  • Setting: In school
  • Science connection: Simple machines
  • 5 lessons (9–10 class sessions)

Standards alignment

We’ve developed each EiE unit with careful attention to educational standards in both science and technology/engineering. View Standards Alignments.

Unit Map

Students are introduced to the concepts of engineering and technology. (30–40 min.)
The class reads a storybook in which a girl named Aisha living in Massachusetts explores the field of Industrial Engineering to complete her summer project. (90–120 min., 2–3 sessions)
Students compare the advantages and disadvantages of using an assembly line process. (45–55 min.)
Students use spring scales to learn about how different simple machines affect the amount or direction of force required to move a load. (80–90 min., 2 sessions)
Students follow the steps of the Engineering Design Process to imagine, plan, create, test, and then improve a model factory subsystem to move a bag to the loading dock. (150–180 min., 3 sessions)

Sample How-to Video

Sample Classroom Video

What's Included?

  • Teacher Guide (PDF)
  • Illustrated Story (PDF)
  • Print Materials (PDF)
  • Additional Resources