The Egg Drop Challenge
|Program||Brown Science Prep|
|Developed by||Manu Venkat, Raghava Kamalesh, Jonathan Sit|
|Developer Type||Undergraduate students|
Overview / Purpose / Essential Questions
How can we engineer safe designs?
Performance / Lesson Objective(s)
Students will use basic principles of engineering and safety design to create a device that will protect an egg while it is dropped.
List of Materials (per group):
Plastic straws (~30)
Popsicle sticks (~20)
Scotch tape (1 roll)
Paper (10 sheets)
CVS grocery bag (1)
Ziploc sandwich bag (1)
Clear plastic Dixie cups (3)
*note: egg should not fit perfectly in dixie cup (would make it too easy)
Stapler (can be shared between groups)
String or Yarn (~10 feet)
Cardboard (~2 square feet)
Engineering challenges are a good way to encourage students to participate and engage in science.
Lesson Outline: Car Safety
Part 1: the human body, and what it can handle
- Humans are relatively fragile
- Outside forces applied on our bodies can cause damage
- Ask students: what are some examples of situations where outside forces can injure a person (examples: car accident, falling and hitting the ground, getting punched)
- Ultimately, it is a large forces that cause injury
Part 2: F=MA
- Write equation on the board and define F, M, and A
- (maybe?) talk about Issac Newton, or at least mention that this is one of his laws of motion
- Look at the equation, and figure out what contributes to a higher F (higher M, higher A)
Part 3: Strategies to protect humans from injury
- How can we reduce the forces that are applied to the body during things that can potentially injure us?
- Ask students for examples of things that can protect us from injury (seat belts, parachutes, air bags, helmets)
- Two main ways to protect our bodies: increase the amount of time a force is applied (thereby reducing magnitude of the acceleration), or apply the force over a larger area
Part 4: Increasing the time a force is applied
- A simpler way to say this is “shock absorption”
- If you were falling towards the ground, what would you rather land on? A soft or hard surface? Concrete or a trampoline?
- Why is a soft surface better? The force that is slowing you down is applied over a longer time!
- Cars: airbags!
- If you got into a crash, its better that your head hits a soft airbag than a hard steering wheel
- This also impacts how cars are designed
- *show crash test video* Cars are now designed to crumple and fold, so that you experience less of a sudden deceleration
- *we could also show stuntpeople landing on cardboard boxes?*
Part 5: Transferring a force over a bigger area
- A given force can do more damage to you if it is applied over a smaller area. It’s the difference between the effects of getting pushed by the large area of a hand, or getting stabbed by the much smaller point of a sword
- this is how helmets and safety pads work
- Talk about eggs: eggs can handle a large amount of force is it is applied evenly all over the surface of the egg, but you can easily crack an egg with a small force applied on a small area (like a knife)
Part 6: Explain the rules of the egg drop
- Hand out the worksheets: http://sciencespot.net/Media/clubnkegg.pdf
- Talk them through it
Part 7: Tips and tricks for protecting your eggs
- You want to find ways to reduce the force applied to your egg when it hits the ground
- You can find ways to slow the speed of the egg as it falls so that the acceleration when it hits the ground is less.
- Air resistance (parachutes, flying squirrels)
- You can find ways to shock-absorb your egg
- Make an airbag, use padding
- You should make sure the force of impact is transmitted evenly to your egg
- If your egg is surrounded by sharp surfaces, it will probably crack
Wrap up / Conclusion
Students will test their devices by dropping them from a predetermined height. Students will receive points for how effective their design is.
Students will have the opportunity to make changes to their design after the first drop.
|1||Box||Gallon Zipper bags|
|Audience(s)||High school students
|Grade Level(s)||High School
|Created||05/29/2013 01:17 PM|
|Updated||12/20/2018 11:57 AM|