Details task Length 45 mins. (20 min. For drop) object Forces and Motion Activity type Exploration Language English publish

In this exploration, students design, evaluate, test, and also suggest improvements for a container the will defend their priceless payload: an egg.

The classic "Egg-Drop" experiment has actually been a conventional in scientific research instruction for countless years. Essentially, students room asked to build some kind of container the will keep a raw egg native cracking when dropped native ever-increasing elevations.

You are watching: How do you drop an egg without breaking it

There are three straightforward ways to rise the likelihood of for sure dropping one egg:

Slow under the descent speed.Parachutes room an obvious technique for slowly the decent speed, as long as the architecture includes a means to keep the parachute open. Cushion the egg so that something other than the egg chin absorbs the influence of landing. The largest finish of the egg has an area of air trapped in between the egg"s two membranes. This air room forms when the components of the egg cool and contract ~ the egg is laid. The accounts because that the crater you frequently see at the finish of a hard-cooked egg. Upon affect the more heavier spherical yolk continues moving towards the ground. The compression the the airspace acts favor an waiting bag because that the eggs" an important contents. Structure an man-made cushioning device will also help absorb the influence of landing. The largest finish of the egg has actually an area of wait trapped between the egg"s 2 membranes. This air an are forms once the materials of the egg cool and also contract after ~ the egg is laid. The accounts because that the crater you often see at the end of a hard-cooked egg. Upon influence the heavier spherical yolk proceeds moving towards the ground. The compression the the airspace acts choose an waiting bag for the eggs" valuable contents. Structure an artificial cushioning device will also help absorb the affect of landing. Orient the egg so that it soil on the strongest component of the shell. The arch structure at either end of the egg is stronger than its sides. Pressure is dispersed down (or up) the arcs so that much less pressure acts on any one point. Orienting the arch downwards will rise the egg"s survival.

The Challenge:On respectable 22, 1994, David Donoghue threw an egg the end of a helicopter ~ above a golf course in the UK, from a elevation of 213 meters (700 feet). That now has the document for the longest egg drop there is no breaking in the human being (all there is no an external structure for added protection!).

Teacher Tip:You deserve to relate the task to the difficulty NASA scientists had in building a lander for the Mars expedition Rover. Physically, it had actually to resist both the heat of entry right into the Martian atmosphere and the impact of landing. Strategically, they also had to number out a way that the rover might right itself no matter how it landed. Students love to see just how the structure they"ve built often resembles the one conceived by NASA scientists.


demonstrate curiosity and show inventiveness.

Brainstorm in a team to generate ideas.

Use problem-solving strategies in building basic structures.


Per Class:large plastic sheet/tarp/vinyl tableclothladder (optional)

Per team of 2–3 students:1 extra-large egg1 bag of products (may encompass cardboard cup, string, tape, balloons, straws, etc.)2 sheets that scrap file and 2 pencils

Key Questions

What was successful/unsuccessful in your design? What renders an egg a an excellent ‘subject’ because that the autumn experiments?

What to Do


Scout out accessible locations around the school for the egg fall at different heights.Make enough bags of materials for college student groups.

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Challenge the students (in groups of 2–3) to build a framework in 40 minutes that will prevent an egg from breaking when dropped indigenous a high place. Brainstorm methods to boost the likelihood of safe landing your eggs.Each group gets a bag the materials, 2 pencils, and 2 sheets that scrap paper.The students cannot assemble anything for the first 10 minutes. This time is come be offered to brainstorm and to attract a mockup that their structure on the scrap record provided.When the 10 minutes is up, circulate about the class to ensure that the students have thoughtfully mocked up their landers.Place the egg in individual egg holders and hand the end to the teams. Repeat students that they cannot usage the egg holder as component of your design.Drop the eggs from a launch allude into the fall zone, which is protected by a plastic sheet, ensuring the each lander is dropped indigenous the very same distance.Once dropped, the students examine out the egg to check out if that has damaged or if over there are any cracks.The team whose egg survives the highest possible drop wins.

Teacher tips 

The teacher have to be the one to launch the egg to ensure fairness and also to minimize the hazard of injury (if dropping indigenous a high distance).Many the the provides in this task can be built up and reused!


how would you modify your architecture to make it better? present your modification mock-up to the class. Assign prices to each craft item and also give student a budget. Students pertained to the “store” with their designs and also the teacher hands the end the products they’ve requested.