These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Lean Machines

This engaging and well thought out resource from Siemens contains a series of lessons which can be used to teach pupils about the principles of ‘lean’ manufacturing and ‘just in time’ production. Once pupils understand these concepts they can try the Lean Machines interactive game which allows them to explore the characteristics of a MINI car production system and challenges them to make it more efficient. 

Lean Machines game

The resources include three lessons covering the following areas which need to be taught in advance of playing the game:

  • how a functional area can be planned in terms of making it fit for purpose using the context of a kitchen. Pupils look at how a kitchen should be designed to perform a range of functions and then explore ideas about its design to make it more efficient.
  • how a product, in this case a torch, is assembled and how this process might be made more efficient and effective using 'lean' manufacturing principles
  • The context of the torch is used again to study 'just in time' production, including its advantages and disadvantages.

In the game pupils score points by building cars to meet orders, using the workforce efficiently and controlling the amount of parts in stock. 

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