During this cycle, students learned about Engineering and the Engineering Design Process. They learned that engineers solve everyday problems to make people’s lives easier.
In the Egg Drop challenge, students had the opportunity to take on the role of a packaging engineer. We talked about the relevance of this challenge with the increase in people buying things online, from technology and books to household goods and groceries. We also talked about advances in technology and the potential future use of drones to deliver packages. All of these changes have changed the way that consumer goods need to be packaged to ensure that they arrive safely and intact.
We also did 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. There 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 or limits. In this challenge, students had to work in material, budget, and time constraints. They followed the steps of the Engineering Design Process to complete their work.
The Egg Drop Challenge!
You are a team of engineers given the challenge of designing a carrier that will prevent an egg from breaking when dropped from a the height of 3 feet. If the egg survives the 3 foot drop, they were then tested from 6 feet. If they made it through both, they had the throw it up in the air test. You may use any materials available to you, however you need to stay within the given budget. Please keep in mind that your egg carrier must be able to withstand numerous drops.
Materials: straws, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, paper clips, string, rubber bands, tape, glue, paper, paper towel, coffee filter, fabric squares, aluminum foil squares, cardboard squares, cotton balls, paper plates, paper roll, shredded paper
Time: 3 Days
After completing the challenge, they analyzed the steps they took to respond to it and compared the different solutions of each team. We also reflected on what it takes to be successful engineers.