Grade 6 students had to break more than a few eggs to test their design thinking skills this week, during the classic egg drop engineering and physics project.
The project in Gavin Wood's STEAM Explorations class required students to conceive of and build devices using limited materials such as cotton, straw, small drinking cups, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners and plastic bags to keep an egg from breaking during a high fall.
On Monday and Tuesday, Mr. Wood collected the devices and boarded a hydraulic lift behind the school. One by one, he dropped the eggs and their containers about twenty feet to the concrete below. The students recorded the drop and gathered data about the mass of the device, mass of the egg, height of the drop and the time it took to travel to the ground.
They also learned about the transition from potential to kinetic energy and made engineering connections with how automobile safety is being improved by changing technologies so vehicles can absorb and redirect energy upon impact.
Some students celebrated success; others learned valuable lessons from failure. Seeing what worked and what didn’t provided the most memorable part of the lesson.