An egg drop contest in a physics class teaches students how to protect an egg during free-fall motion. Students must determine how to spread out the force over time and redirect the impact of the force so that the egg itself does not directly hit the ground. The key to a successful egg drop container is providing room for the egg to move and to absorb some of the force within a soft environment that will not crack it.
- Grade A large egg
- Cotton balls
- Bubble wrap
- Masking tape
- Large sponges
- 4-by-4-inch container
- Crumpled newspaper
Cover an egg with cotton balls by using masking tape on the outside of the cotton balls to make sure they stay in place. Make sure the masking tape is not wrapped too tight around the egg, as it needs to be able to move a little within the cotton ball layer.
Loosely wrap the cotton balls and egg in two layers of bubble wrap and secure with tape. If the bubble wrap is taped too tightly, the egg and cotton balls will experience more force upon impact.
Cut large sponges to cover all sides of a small plastic container or box (approximately 4 inches by 4 inches), including the lid of the container or box. Glue the sponges to the insider of the container and place the wrapped egg inside of the container.
Fill an empty space in the container with cotton balls, bubble wrap or loosely crumpled newspaper to provide more support for the egg. Attach the lid to the container with masking tape, making sure that all edges and corners of the lid are taped securely so the lid will not fall off upon impact.
Practice dropping the container from different heights. Check to see whether the egg has survived after each drop and replace all masking tape before conducting a second drop.