The Great Egg Drop
This egg-speriment will challenge you to come up with a way to cushion (or protect) a raw egg placed inside a container, so that when the container is dropped, the egg won’t break. Best to do it outside too! It’s also great to do it as a contest with a friend… or with everyone in your class at school!
Question: What kind of device will prevent an egg from breaking when dropped?
- Adult helper (who also can be the judge)
- A clock or timer
- 1 or 2 raw eggs (no hard-cooked or pickled one!)
- Your thinking cap
- A container that:
- has a volume not greater than 500 mL (2 cups) – that’s about as much liquid as almost 3 drinking boxes. (To test this, you may want to see if it takes no more than 500 mL of something like salt or sand to completely fill it.)
- has no cushioning material on the outside of it.
- cannot in any way be impeded in its fall from the specified height, ie. no parachutes, suspension lines, etc.
- has a liquid proof seal around the outside (to prevent spilling).
- Cushioning material (goes inside the container) must:
- surround the egg but cannot be attached to it).
- be placed so that the egg can be easily removed for inspection.
Examples of container and cushioning materials – styrofoam, bubble wrap, toothpicks, textiles, cardboard, balloons. Be creative!
You will also need a safe, high place outside (such as from a porch or out a window – be sure no one could be hit by these dropping eggs!). Where to drop the eggs? a four meter height is ideal.
- Set the timer for 30, 45 or 60 minutes – whatever you want.
- Build a container.
- Place cushioning material for egg inside the container, making sure you leave room for the egg!
- Put egg in the container.
- Seal the container.
- Drop the container – from the desired height at the location decided upon.
- Open the container and inspect the egg.
- If the egg broke, try using a different cushioning material or container.
- Note the results of which container and cushioning material worked the best!
What Happened – and Why?
Different containers and materials protect the egg in different ways. Which container proved to keep the egg intact? Why?