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.
As a group, we talked about the shift toward online purchasing and how that affects the need for sufficient packaging. We also talked about how technology can affect delivery of packages in the future (think 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 would 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. In addition, students were encouraged to make their packaging look realistic.
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. Afterward, students reflected upon their choice of materials, look of their packaging, and time management. They explored ideas for what they could do differently if given the chance to redesign.