90 Minutes | 3rd – 12th Grades
The Egg Drop project is a highly-versatile activity that can be used to introduce students to physics, materials science, and fluid dynamics. For elementary and middle school classes, the students have a wide range of materials to ‘buy’ with thier alotted budgets. For the high school classes, the number of available materials and budgets are decreased, making the challenge more difficult and emphasizing the engineering design process. Additional components to the activity include timing the falls to calculate the average speed, measuring the deformations of the devices after the drop, and data analysis to compare which materials worked best overall.
Egg drop devices simulate parachutes and other similar features seen in nature, such as the helicopter seeds that are dropped from some trees. The process of slowing descent to resist the force of gravity has been used in a number of instances in history, and continues to be an important science – especially currently around emergency aid and transportation of goods to inaccessible areas.
This lesson aligns with the following Common Core Standards:
• PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
• PS2.A: Forces and Motion
• PS3.C: Relationship Between Energy and Forces