Boston Children's Museum
308 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210
Engineering activities give kids a chance to develop problem solving and observations skills, to work with interesting and engaging tools and materials, and to learn how to work as a member of a team. In this activity, your students will get to do all of that as they are challenged to protect an egg from breaking after it is dropped from a set height. This activity is part of the Incredible Egg series of activities, which are designed to be done during the Spring.
Arrange the recycled materials in a way that prevents a free-for-all. You might only put out some of what you assume will be the most popular items so that the first few teams don’t take them all, then replenish those materials as they run out. Place any tools (scissors, etc.) on the tables for children to use. Lay out the newspaper or drop cloth on your “drop zone.”
Show your students a raw egg and ask them what they think would happen if you dropped it on the ground. Do they think they could design some way of preventing the egg from breaking using the materials you’ve laid out on the table?
Save you egg from certain doom by creating a way to protect it from the cold, hard ground!
When everyone has been working for 10 minutes or so, take a break and have them come together as a group to discuss their process so far. How are they going to protect the egg? What materials are they using? Are there any designs that they considered but then decided not to try? This discussion should last no more than 5-7 minutes.
When everyone is done, drop the creations one by one, and check inside to see if the egg broke or was protected. What do the successful designs have in common? What do the less-successful designs have in common? If they were to do this activity again, what would they try? If you have time and enough materials, give teams a chance to try another design, or repeat this activity on another day.