Senior physics students broadened their scientific knowledge by undertaking a new twist to the classic egg drop experiment.
"Most everyone has done some form of egg drop before," said Curtis Geldert, physics teacher at the Minnetonka High School. "But this was a little different. Students made a container that would catch the egg, as opposed one that would fall with the egg. This encouraged them to be creative, and to think outside the box a little more."
Each class divided into groups to build their egg-catcher. This small container was designed to catch a raw egg dropped from the second floor—a distance of over 15 feet. The main goal, of course, was to stop the egg from breaking. However, added challenges were set up over the course of the experiment. Students were restricted to specific materials that they could use to make their egg-catchers, and each material came with a price tag attached. Students could "buy" whatever they wanted, as long as they stayed within the imaginary budget provided.
The egg drop, which marked the end of the momentum and impulse unit of their physics class, was meant to show real-life application for some of the concepts studied during the unit. Students learned how the time and forces of the falling object hitting the ground can affect the damage on the object.
"The egg catchers serve the same purpose as things like airbags, guard rails, and other everyday items," explained Mr. Geldert. "If the egg stops over a longer period of time, there will be less force applied to it and the egg won't break."
Whether or not students succeed in "saving" their egg, they enjoyed the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a creative—and competitive—way.