Full Steam Ahead with Baked Potatoes!

Hold onto your hats for this one, folks! It's a doozy!

This multi-day activity is one that brings cheers and smiles from my fifth graders. Of course, that might be because they are expecting to eat something when they hear about the Food Delivery Challenge.

This challenge was created a few years back- before food delivery companies started delivering just about anything. My idea was to deliver baked potatoes. Now, I know that seems weird. However, in our town, we have a famous BBQ restaurant that makes a giant baked potato loaded with meat. It is a very popular item.

And it is quite good!

STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.


This project takes place over a few days (or class sessions). For us, it generally takes about 4 class sessions. The basics include:

  • Learning about advertisements
  • Learning about logos, slogans, and company requirements
  • The Ad Team
  • The Box Building Team
  • The Decorating Team
  • The Commercial 

Wow! It's a lot- that is why it takes a few days to complete.

Advertising, Logos, Slogans

One of the first things we learn about is how companies advertise their products. We take a close look at magazine or newspaper ads and create an anchor chart showing the company name, the logo, the slogan, any extra information, and how the ad is decorated.


We also talk about how companies create a sellable product and how it is marketed. This includes how a company must market with the consumer in mind- please your customers and you make money!


I created some large displays of magazine advertisements and we checked each one to see if the company name is displayed prominently. Does the name catch your attention? Does the company have a logo or recognizable emblem (think Nike)? Is the image on the ad something that makes you stop and look at it? 

I found many examples that were good, but I also found examples that were awful! It was important for the students to see this! We looked at a few ads that were questionable. We could not even decide what the product was that was being sold. This is a no-no.

The Ad Team

Each team had to create a potato delivery company, create a logo, invent a slogan, and create an image that would be the recognizable symbol for their company (think Apple).

Take a look at the two posters in the photo below. On the top is the poster for the "Hot 'n' Happy Baked Potato Company- the Happiest Spuds on Earth." I love the phrase "Way-2-Go-Idaho!"

Their image is the happy potato waving and smiling.

STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.

The photo on the bottom is the "Taters R Us- We Deliver You Eat". Their poster included their menu and a note that says kids' meals are free.


The Box Building Team

One of the requirements for this challenge is to make a crush-proof/drop-proof box for delivering the potato. Customers do not want a spilled potato!

The box must also keep the potato hot!

So, the box team designs the insides of the box to hold the potato and keep it hot. How did we test this?

STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.

The team lined the box with heat-absorbing materials. We cooked a potato and inserted a thermometer. Each team had a data table where they recorded the starting temperature of the potato. They used a stopwatch and checked the temperature every minute for 20 minutes. The potato temperature was not allowed to drop too much.

The box team then dropped the potato and checked to make sure it stayed intact.


The Decorating Team

At the same time, the decorating team designed the outside of the box. They had to include the company name, phone numbers, website, the slogan and logo, and the image for the company. You would want your delivery box to be a form of advertising!

STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.

Above, you can see the information added that lets customers know the potatoes are always on sale on Sundays. The second picture is showing "Freaky Fast Potatoes" and if you look closely you can see the delivery 'truck' is a potato with flames shooting out of the back!

The Commercial

The culminating event for this STEAM project is to perform a commercial for the company. Each team writes a script for the commercial, creates props, and assigns parts. Each team performs for the whole class and shares its advertising posters at that time.

STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.

The above collage is showing the props for a team that called their company "Potato, Potato".  (pronounced po-tay-to, po-tot-o). They made animal masks out of scraps and performed their commercial to the tune of Hakuna Matata. It was pretty spectacular!

We love this challenge so much and we don't even eat the potatoes. You could add that feature to the event if you like. Just be sure to borrow some extra microwave ovens to cook them!


STEAM Activity- this multi-day event has students creating a potato delivery company. They test potatoes to keep them warm and crush proof, design ads, and perform a commercial.


No comments

Back to Top