Egg Drop Contest Winners and Great Design Ideas
The 15th Annual Egg Drop Contest was held at Converse Middle School in Palmer, MA. Principal Stetkiewicz hosted the event this year. This year the event went 6 rounds and 18 students were finalists.
The contest is always exciting and generates community spirit for the students. The atmosphere is a cycle of roar and hushes as each participant’s device is tossed into the air and the crowd observes its fate. An afternoon outdoors watching a variety of items dropped off a building, what child wouldn’t have a fun day?
A variety of egg drop designs used parachutes, balloons, cardboard boxes, and wooden frames. One student enclosed the egg in a block of ice. The young crowd was split in opinion on what happened to the “ice-age” egg. Some believe the egg cracked during the freezing process as the ice froze and expanded, others believe the shattering sound and vibration of the ice impacted the concrete was the cause of the egg’s demise. No one truly knows the cause of the egg’s shattering as no one performed a post-mortem autopsy on the egg shell following its explosive landing.
The results varied based on the combination of raw materials. Over ½ of those using parachutes failed to slow the descending gadgets as their parachutes failed to deploy entangled in string. Those parachutes that did open and capture air beneath the chute managed to slow their rate of descent to the ground below them, however, the speed of hitting the concrete did not provide a gentle landing. A loud thud echoed below many a parachute design.
The balloon designs did not fare much better. Over 70% of the balloons that encased the egg made a popping noise on impact. Their passenger did not survive.
Those using wooden frames landed with a thud, a cracking noise, and same a shatter. Many times the outside box survived, but the egg inside was scrambled. These designs had outer integrity, but didn’t have inner comfort.
One egg drop design that did well was a combination hard outer shell, soft inner cushion. Similar to an automobile where the outside frame absorbed 90% of the impact, the inner “seat belt” and cushion made for that last 10% of the impact a bit more comfortable and less painful.
Overall, the day was entertaining for the students and there was much buzz by in the crowd about each design and strategy used by the contestants. Someone suggested using watermelons in the future. The suggestion met with a moment of pause, then a roaring chuckle by most students. Another shouted out, “let’s try pumpkins next Fall instead of eggs” which was met with a few folks nodding their heads in consideration.
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