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  • Civil Engineering - Egg Drop
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How can the EDP or engineering design practices be incorporated into this activity?

Comment: In the comment field please comment of how this activity went for you, how long it took, how long you expected it to take, if there were any other materials that you would have wanted to have, how your was teacher involved in this activity, if it was age/grade level appropriate for the students and any other comments about this activity you think are important for the next person to use this activity to know.



  File Modified
Microsoft Word Document Egg drop worksheet.docx Aug 24, 2011 by Elsa Brennan Head
Microsoft Powerpoint Presentation Week 5-Egg Drop.pptx Designed for ESL students, so minimal words. Animations present; watch presentation rather than looking at slides May 09, 2013 by Matthew R. Long
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  1. In Ms. Murphy's class in the fall 2011 semester we did the egg drop activity with about 40 kids in groups of two.  We divided the materials we had brought and each group ended up with about 10 napkins, 15 straws, 9 cotton balls, and less than a meter of tape.  They ended up needing more tape which we would give them in small lengths at a time so they understood constraints of materials.  It seemed like they had more than enough napkins because they provided a lot of cushion and most likely less napkins could have been used.  Most of the kids' designs were successful with only a few minor cracks that were not apparent until they unwrapped their egg.  We gave them about 20 minutes to create their design.  Every group got to present their design in front of the class and drop it from their head height.  It was good to allow them all to explain their ideas to each other and see what worked.  The kids were very concerned with whether their egg survived, but they also understood that the important thing was that if the egg did break, they learned how they would make a better design next time.  The kids really enjoyed this activity and many said they wanted to do it again.  At the end of the semester many kids told us that this was their favorite activity.

  2. In Ms. Tucci's class we did the egg drop activity with 25 kids in pairs. First we talked about different helmets for different functions as well as different material properties. We gave each pair ten small sticks, each resembling a dollar, and wrote up the prices for the supplies on the board. We had pieces of paper, foam, rubber bands, cups, cotton balls, straws, and tape. We talked about how the amount of money they had was the constraint of this project and talked about which parts of the EDP we were going to go through today. They had to draw our their design on paper first and provided us with a shopping list before they could buy their supplies. We gave them 20 minutes to build the helmets for their eggs and then Shir dropped their eggs one by one from on top of a chair. Each pair explained their design before Shir dropped it. At the end, we discussed what they would have done to improve their design and about the qualities of the best materials to do. We also talked about the structure of helmets and how the inside is soft to cushion the head and the outside is hard to protect the head. This activity went really well although only one egg completely survived the drop. This was discouraging but we focused on how well they designed the helmets and about how they could redesign them in the future.

  3. In Ms. Pappas fifth grade class of about twenty students we did this activity and the students loved it.  We did not hard boil the eggs beforehand, but put them in plastic bags which worked just fine.  We used cotton ball, tape and balloons for materials and we also put constraints on the amount of materials that each student could use.  One girl told us during the next session, that she tried making another egg helmet at home with her friend.  It is great that the students are taking what they learned in STOMP and then trying it again at home.

  4. In Ms. Hong's fifth grade ESL class, we did this experiment and it went really well. The kids really enjoyed coming up with different designs to protect their egg. We made it a competition to see who had the best egg drop which really got the kids excited. It was a good first experiment because it was quick, easy, and a lot of fun. We used cotton balls, tape, paper, and plastic bags. There were constraints for each of the materials. Afterwards, we looked at all the designs and talked about why certain designs worked better than others. 

  5. In Ms. Fong's 5th grade class in Fall 2012, we did this activity and the students had a good time with it. We used raw eggs instead of hard boiled eggs. The students were grouped in twos and each group was given a paper bag containing two ziploc bags, cotton balls, and plastic straws. The eggs were dropped at a height of six feet and about 4 eggs survived. The students were then instructed to think about how eggs are transported from the farm to the supermarket and why egg cartons keep the eggs safe.