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Summer SAVY 2022/Session 6 – Industrial Engineering for Rising 3rd/4th Grade

Posted by on Monday, July 25, 2022 in blog, SAVY.


Happy Fabulous Friday!

What a fun Friday it was! We all successfully completed our challenge of incorporating a specific simple machine into our factory subsystems designs to help move the load of potatoes from the factory floor to the “loading dock.” We went step-by-step through the Engineering Design Process to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve our subsystem designs. We first started by sketching out our own ideas for the factory subsystem. Then, we collaborated in engineering design teams to combine our ideas and sketch out two plans. Each group decided on their best design and worked with a variety of materials to bring their sketches to life. Problems arose throughout the creating process, but our industrial engineers did not quit! We worked through our problems and improved our subsystems until they functioned. All groups successfully moved the load of potatoes from the floor to the loading dock and their subsystems did it in a way that required less force (measured in Newtons) than moving the load by hand. Ask your learner: How did your engineering design team decide on the final designs? What simple machine were you required to use in your design? What were some advantages of that machine? What were some disadvantages and how did you problem-solve that? What problems did you encounter during the “create” step of the engineering design process? If you could go back and re-create your factory subsystem, how would you improve it?

Be sure to check out the photos of our design plans and some final projects!

We sure hope to see you back at another SAVY session, soon! Have a wonderful rest of your summer.

-Ms. Courtney and Ms. Ann Louise

Thursday: Happy Thursday!

Today, we learned a whole lot about the physics behind simple machines and explored how these machines make work easier. We learned about Sir Isaac Newton, how force, work, and distance are related, and how ergonomics plays into industrial engineering. Dr. Walmsley, a Ph.D specializing in physics came to visit us today. He brought simple machines to life as we used levers to take nails out of wood, race hidden wheel and axle Hot Wheels cars down inclined planes, and lifted weights with pulleys. Check out the photos from our day!

Key takeaways from today’s learning are: Students review what they learned about simple machines and ergonomics and establish a need for creating an improved factory subsystem.

Working in small groups, students are assigned one simple machine to use in their subsystem designs. Groups then “Imagine” several designs that include both their  assigned simple machines, as well as one to two additional machines.

Each group selects one subsystem design and draws a detailed plan that includes a labeled diagram and a materials list.

Some dinner table questions:

What simple machines that you explored today seemed to reduce the amount of force needed to move a load? Which simple machine, do you think, is the most ergonomic and why? What are some impacts of simple machines in a factory setting?

See you tomorrow!

-Ms. Courtney and Ms. Ann Louise



Happy Wednesday! It was a busy, yet wonderful Wednesday in Industrial Engineering. We started our day off with a walking field trip over to main campus to check out the Wond’ry. We got a tour of the makerspaces, saw a live laser cutting demonstration, and created a 3D rocket with the pieces cut from the laser. Your learner should have brought home their rockets today! Ask your student what they enjoyed most about their experience at The Wond’ry! Check out their website here: (

After the field trip we returned to our folder-making challenge! We nailed down a plan and created the steps to incorporate an assembly line into our strategy. Be sure to ask your child how many folders we were able to make the first time as a group compared to the second time, after making improvements. Some great questions to ask are: What were some advantages of the assembly line? What were some disadvantages of the assembly line? How did the assembly line impact folder production, people in the assembly line, and yourself?

 Some key takeaways from today’s learning were: explaining how an assembly line can make a process more time efficient; explaining at least one advantage and one disadvantage of using an assembly line; and discussing the role of industrial engineers in designing processes.

Check out the photos from The Wond’ry and our assembly line strategy!

See you tomorrow!

-Ms. Courtney and Ms. Ann Louise


Happy Tuesday! We were surprised to learn that processes are an example of technology. We put on our manufacturing hats and worked to follow directions and make as many folders as we could in ten minutes. We encountered many problems and weren’t as successful as we’d hoped. As engineers, we found that the Engineering Design Process could help us improve our folder-making process so we could create more in a ten-minute time span. Ask your learner about how we plan to create folders more efficiently!

We also had a guest speaker today! Mr. Mathew and his colleague brought rocket parts and video examples of how 3D printers and CNC (computer numerical control) machines work. This set the stage to explore simple machines tomorrow. Check out the photos below!

Some key takeaways from today’s learning were: Identifying an assembly line as a process and a technology; explain how an assembly line works; explain how an assembly line can make a process more time efficient; explain at least one advantage and one disadvantage of using an assembly line; and discuss the role of industrial engineers in designing processes

Some dinner table questions:

  • What problems did you encounter while making your folders by yourself?
  • Do you think waiting for materials was a problem? Why or why not?
  • How did you and the class plan to solve these problems?

See you tomorrow!

Ms. Courtney and Ms. Ann Louise

Monday: Happy Monday and welcome to Industrial Engineering! Our class is off to a great start. We had a wonderful day getting to know each other and diving into the world of technology, engineering, and design. Today, we explored technology, learned about engineers, the Engineering Design Process, and what Industrial Engineers do. We saw how industrial engineers work to optimize and improve processes in a certain place and talked about our own experiences when efficiency and optimization aren’t in play. Who doesn’t love a missed flight or waiting too long in line at Disney? In a fictional potato chip factory setting, we saw how simple machines are used to improve processes and we will spend the week determining how we can maximize a factory subsystem in the factory to help move potatoes from the floor to a countertop!

Our main takeaways from today were:

  • Simple machines are all around us.

  • Two or more simple machines can be combined to create complex machines.
  • Machines can make work easier.

  • discuss why some simple machines are better solutions for specific problems than others.

discuss the work of industrial engineers.

Dinner Table Questions:

  • Explore the technology around your house: How do you know that it’s a piece of technology? Is the object naturally made? Man-made? What material is it made of? What problem does it solve? How else could you use it? What other materials could it be made of? Who creates these technologies? Why was this technology created?

Have a great night!


Ms. Courtney and Ms. Ann Louise