Packing Parcels

A pink and yellow exhibit table, with a white and orange information panel at the back. On the table sits purple and orange soft square shapes that all fit together to form a cube.

Packing items efficiently reduces the amount of space taken up.

How it works

In this puzzle, pack nine small parcels so they fit efficiently into one large container.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

Can you pack the nine parcels so that they all fit into the crate? This is more challenging than you might think!


Solid small particles like atoms and molecules are packed together to form solids, liquids and gases. Particles in a solid are usually more tightly packed together. However, there are some exceptions: solid ice particles (frozen water) take up more space than liquid water particles!

Finding the science in your world

When packing many things into a small car, you need to use the space efficiently. If you don’t, you may have to make an extra trip!

Salt crystals are made up of cubes of sodium chloride. In each cube, sodium ions and chloride ions are packed together.