How can you best protect a raw egg from the stress of a roof-level fall? There are probably as many methods as there are minds in the world, and they are all worth a try. Here are some tested methods for you to incorporate into your own egg capsule. Like any good scientist or inventor, be ready to test and adjust your own design to suit your particular circumstances.
The outer packaging is your first line of defense. Choose something strong and easy to fill with shock-absorbing materials. Old metal coffee cans with plastic lids work very well, as do the newer plastic varieties. Cylinders are generally better than boxy forms. Boxy shapes can sometimes completely split when the corner hits the ground awkwardly, while rounded sides help to absorb the shock of landing.
The first layer of defense inside your capsule should form a sort of cushioning jacket right around the egg. Foam from an old cushion, cotton balls, cotton batting, stuffing, bubble wrap, old rags, toilet paper or paper towels can be used for the first, dense cushioning layer closest to the egg. Experiment with various materials and thicknesses. Attach this layer to the egg using string or tape.
Shock Absorbing Materials
The next layer will surround the jacket with movable dense shock absorbency. The smaller the particles in this layer, the better they can absorb the shocks of falling. Flour is made of very small particles, and may cushion your egg better than than larger packing peanuts. Experiment with various substances like popcorn, flour, sugar, sand and crumpled plastic bags.
Putting It All Together
Experiment with various densities as you pack. Perhaps overfilling the container works best, maybe leaving negative space so the packaging can move around works better. Vary the thickness of the inner and outer materials as well until you find a winning combination. Jacket your egg, then place it about halfway up the capsule on a bed of shock absorbent material. Finish filling up the container, then seal your capsule and try it out.
About the Author
Jamie Paul has a Bachelor of Science in biology from Northern Arizona University and a master's degree in sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver. Since 1999 she has taught pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in public school, including experience with second-language learners, dual language and Montessori schools. Paul works at Denver Public Library and is pursuing further studies in the biological sciences.