Fun Activities

On The Job

Manufacturing & Production - Food Process Worker  


Tastes Like Chicken: How much chicken do you consume each week?

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy



1. Watch BTN - Tastes Like Chicken 8 March 2011 Video


2. Create a timeline for the processing of chickens. Indicate the number of chickens processed in Australia each day and the process to create these chickens and their products.

3. Go to your local supermarket:

  • Write down the different types of food which has chicken meat in them eg. chicken sausages. How many different products are there?
  • Write down the prices for each product and the cost per kilogram.
  • Compare the cost per kilogram for each of the chicken products [remember to include "hot BBQ chickens" - you might need to ask the staff the size of the chickens being sold]
  • Create a database using Excel to show the different products and prices. Which is the best value for money?

4. Go to your local butcher:

  • Write down the different types of food which has chicken meat in them. How many different products are there. Are there any different products to the supermarket? Add to your Excel spreadsheet
  • Write down the prices for each product and cost per kilogram. Is there a difference in price?
  • Which product is the best value for money?

Chicken Production Research

5. Read the following article from The Conversation 27 July 2016 and list 15 new facts you didn't know... Reading

The Conversation

6. "According to Australian Chicken Meat Federation, we consumed 45.3kg of chicken meat per person in 2015, which means 870 grams of chicken meat per week." (Source The Conversation)

Survey your class to find out how many meals of chicken are consumed each week. Work out the amount of chicken each person consumes. Is it 870 grams of chicken meat per person per week? More? Less?



Thomas Foods International - their business explored!

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle High SchoolSecondary

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

Personal and social capabilityAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Personal and social capability

LiteracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Literacy

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

ICT Capability Australian Curriculum General Capability: ICT Capability



1. The overall food manufacturing industry is an important part of the Australian economy. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), in 2013-14, employment in food and beverage manufacturing in Australia was approximately 222,900 people, representing around 23.9 per cent of total manufacturing employment! (Source: Formation Training)

You are to investigate one of the giants of this industry! Thomas Foods International, a family-owned operation now the third-biggest processor in the country behind corporate giants JBS and Teys Australia.

You are to research Thomas Foods International and particularly two people very much involved - a father and son - Chris and Darren Thomas.

To get an idea of their business, you are to watch Landline - Thomas Foods [13/02/2016] Archive


2. Give an overview of this business -

  • What are all the facts and figures from this program? Portray these facts and figures in colourful diagrams for easy viewing.

  • Create a timeline for the business

  • What are the Pros and Cons of this business?

  • Where have they expanded into?

  • Where do they see themselves in 5 years time?

3. There are so many aspects to this business. To get to know it well, go to the Thomas Foods International website and

Thomas Foods International

watch the Corporate Video [under About Us]. Make notes.

4. Using Lucid Chart create a flow chart of the production of meat from the Paddock to the Plate. The Corporate video is played backwards so you will have to rearrange the flow chart to reflect the beginning to end of this meat processing plant. Check with a partner.

Lucid Chart Flow


5. Continue to look at the history of this business by looking at the T&R Story Video on their website. Write up your notes.  

  • What have you learnt about Thomas Foods International?

  • How would you now describe the ethics of this company after seeing the video but also exploring their commitment to Foodbank (see below in DYK section)?

6. Pretend that you have to introduce both Chris and Darren Thomas to a corporate conference. This introduction or presentation is to be 5 minutes in length showing their company and the men themselves.

If you were starting a business in Food Processing - what have you learnt?

7. You are a process worker at Thomas Foods International and have just heard about your company's contribution to Foodbank. You are interested in finding out more so you go to Foodbank's website.

Write a letter to either Chris or Darren about your feelings to Thomas Foods International contribution to Foodbank. What will your own personal commitment be if any?

Did You Know?

Two of Australia’s largest family owned meat processors, join Foodbank in fighting hunger in Australia

Foodbank is excited to announce the launch of its partnership with Thomas Foods International and Fletcher International Exports who are collaborating to help expand the Foodbank Meat Program.


Thomas Foods International and Fletcher International Exports will donate 1 tonne of 65cl mutton trim to Foodbank each month. Primo Smallgoods will then use this to produce beef and lamb mix sausages for Foodbank which will be distributed around the country. This donation will see Foodbank’s Meat Program increase from producing 1,400 kilos of fresh sausages each month to over 4,300 kilos, equating to over 800,000 sausages annually.

Work out the worth of these sausages by calculating the cost of these sausages.

This innovative program will allow Foodbank to continue to fight hunger in Australia by providing more meat to Australians in need.

Gather facts about Hunger in Australia!




Building a Conveyor Belt (from TryEngineering PDF)

PrimaryPrimary MiddleMiddle  High SchoolSecondary

CriticalAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Critical and creative thinking

NumeracyAustralian Curriculum General Capability: Numeracy

Cooperative LearningCooperative Learning Activity


Full lesson plan is at Try Engineering (PDF)
Local Copy: here (PDF

"Lesson explores the engineering behind the conveyor belt and considers the impact this invention has had on transportation and the coordinated shipping and delivery of goods. Students work in teams to design and build a conveyor system out of everyday materials that can transport pieces of candy 120cm. The conveyor must make a 90 degree turn as it moves along. Student teams design their system, build and test it, evaluate their designs and those of classmates, and share observations with their class."

³ Student Resource Sheets
³ Student Worksheets
³ Classroom Materials (candy or similar sized items)
³ Student Team Materials: tubes (can be paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, or pvc piping or other similar materials - or even rows of soda bottles or pencils) rubber bands, ball bearings, balls, fabric sheets, string, gears, handles, paper cups, straws, paper towels, paper clips, tape, soda bottle, glue, string, foil, plastic wrap, pens, pencils, paper, hose or tubes, crayons, other items available in the classroom.

Time Needed
Two to three 45 minute sessions.

1. Show students the student reference sheets [or watch the following videos]. These may be read in class or provided as reading material for the prior night's homework.
2. To introduce the lesson, consider asking the students if they have been to an airport to consider how their luggage was sorted or delivered. Ask them to think
about any "moving sidewalks" they have traveled on (airports, malls, other large buildings).
3. Teams of 3-4 students will consider their challenge, and conduct research into how conveyor belt systems operate.
4. Teams then consider available materials and develop a detailed drawing showing their conveyor system including a list of materials they will need to build it.
5. Students build their conveyor system, and test it, and also observe the systems developed and tested by other student teams.
6. Teams reflect on the challenge, and present their experiences to the class.

Roller Conveyors | How It's Made


Automated Carton Conveyor System [no sound]


What is a Conveyor System?


S t u d e n t  W o r k s h e e t

Engineering Teamwork and Planning
You are part of a team of engineers given the challenge of developing your own conveyor belt out of a range of materials. You will need to convey candy along your belt which has to include a 90 degree turn. You can use any materials you like that are provided to you….and can share or trade materials with other student teams.

There are a few rules:
1. Candy cannot be glued or affixed to the belt surface,
2. Candy cannot fall off.

Research Phase
Read the materials provided to you by your teacher or watch the videos.  If you have access to the internet, explore examples of conveyor systems and consider how groceries are moved along to the cashier in a market or grocery store.

Planning and Design Phase
Draw a diagram of your planned conveyor belt and make a list and quantity of all the materials you think you will need. You'll need to consider how you will make the conveyor belt move -- you can use your hands to move rollers, gears, or you could use a motor -- just don't touch the cup!

Presentation Phase
Present your plan and drawing to the class, and consider the plans of other teams.
You may wish to fine tune your own design.

Build it! …and Redesign if you need to!
Next build your conveyor belt and test it. You may share unused building materials with other teams, and trade materials too. Be sure to watch what other teams are doing and consider the aspects of different designs that might be an improvement on your team's plan.

Test it!
Next, the class will test their conveyor belt systems. Be sure to watch all the tests so you can see the advantages or disadvantages of other systems.

Complete the reflection questions below:

1. How similar was your original design to the actual conveyor your team built?
2. If you found you needed to make changes during the construction phase, describe why your team decided to make revisions.
3. Which conveyor system that another team engineered was the most interesting to you? Why?
4. Do you think that this activity was more rewarding to do as a team, or would you have preferred to work alone on it? Why?
5. If you could have used one additional material (tape, glue, wood sticks, foil -- as examples) which would you choose and why?

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