During this cycle, students learned about Engineering and the Engineering Design Process through a project entitled, Egg Drop Challenge! For this challenge, students took on the role of a packaging engineer.
Throughout our time together, we talked about the shift toward online purchasing and how that affects the need for sufficient packaging. We also talked about how technology will affect delivery of packages in the (near) future….drones! All of these things have impacted the packaging of consumer goods to ensure that they arrive intact.
Students were involved in some research and talked about how Physics, the study of motion and energy, plays a vital role in this challenge. Students needed to learn about kinetic and potential energy and the force of gravity. Their challenge was to design a container that will protect the egg and absorb the force of it hitting the ground. Students were also encouraged to think about ways that they could counter the force of gravity and some added a parachute to their container to slow down the speed of the drop.
Part of the challenge involved taking on the real challenges an engineer faces and having to work within constraints of materials, budget, and time. They followed the steps of the Engineering Design Process to complete their work.
Aditya and Jack worked diligently on their egg packaging. They used felt, paper towels, cotton balls, string, and masking tape. They used a coffee filter to act as a parachute, although in the end they decided that probably wasn’t an essential part of the design.
Sophia and her partner Abby, created their egg packaging using straws, cotton balls, masking tape, string, fabric, and a coffee filter. They attributed the success of their design to the fabric and the cotton balls, which absorbed the kinetic energy, therefore protecting the egg.
Joshua, Sahil, and Kavin were meticulous in their clean design for their egg packaging. They worked diligently to create a box-like structure using popsicle sticks, felt, cotton balls, and glue. Although the egg cracked, the boys discussed ideas for a redesign, including a lid and additional cushioning (cotton balls and felt) for the egg.
Leon, Zamir, and Ajay created an interesting design for their egg packaging consisting of popsicle sticks, masking tape, coffee filters, and string. They attributed the success of their packaging to the extended popsicle sticks which hit the ground and absorbed the kinetic energy. They were sure to have sticks extending in all directions, so that no matter how the package fell, the egg would be protected.