Hey guys! This is maker Vanessa here letting you in on a workshop we are working on this week at the Chevron & Houston Texans Maker Annex. This is The Egg Drop Workshop. I did something similar to this in high school for a project so it was nice to be able to do it again. While a project like this is mostly used for scientific purposes like for students to have a better understanding of  gravity, when I was writing the procedure for it I also learned that students can also learn a thing or two about engineering.

The process of this workshop is similar to the process an engineer, has to go through when developing a project. First comes the brainstorming and the designing. One has to always keep in mind certain limitations and requirements that the design must meet as well as you have to remember all the science that is behind whatever you are making.  Then comes the building process, and with that there might be even more restrictions like there being only a certain budget that the engineer must not go over, or a limitation on the kinds and how much materials they can use. And finally, an engineer has to make sure what they’re making actually works which requires a periods of testing and editing. Sometimes, they don’t even have time to do that. So, this workshop is sort of a mini- Intro to Engineering Concepts of sorts.

For this workshop, students, in groups of 2-3, will use their critical thinking skills and creativity to design and build a carrier that will protect an uncooked egg after being dropped from a certain height. The students should take away practical knowledge to solve a similar problem in the future or develop creative solutions to other problems by using the same logical process. In addition, students will be able to apply scientific concepts such as gravity, air resistance and energy to this project.
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The Challenge:

The main materials that will be used for this workshop are:

  • Paper
  • Masking Tape
  • Rubber Bands

 

For the first part of the workshop, the students will draw the design of the carrier and give a small description on why they chose that design. Once the designs have been reviewed and approved by one of the instructors, the students will then create their carrier using the materials that have been provided.

After the students finish building the carrier, they must again take it to the instructor before moving on to testing to make sure they followed the design they had originally drawn and the rules that go with this workshop. Any changes made during the building process must be added to the design drawing and approved by the instructor before moving on to testing.

The students will be taken to the designated testing area to drop their carrier with the egg inside. If the test comes out unsuccessful, and if there is time to spare, the students will then return to the annex to fix the design in a way that will better save the egg.

Learning Objective:

  • Teamwork
    1. As previously mentioned, the students will have to work in groups to complete this workshop. This will help them learn the importance of communication, participation, and most importantly, how to work with others.
  • Problem Solving
    1. Students will have to use critical thinking to do this workshop. In addition, the students will learn to tap into their creativity since there are multiple ways, even with certain limitations, to prevent the dropped egg from breaking since there is no one solution to this problem.

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  1. SCIENCE!
    1. Gravity
      1. Gravity is a force which tries to pull two objects toward each other. Anything which has mass also has a gravitational pull. The more massive an object is, the stronger its gravitational pull. Earth has a much higher mass than, say, an egg. Therefore, this will cause the egg to fall to the ground, toward the earth, and break. Students should learn critical thinking and creativity by designing methods to combat this gravitational force and prevent the egg from breaking.
    2. Air Resistance
      1. Air resistance combats the force of gravity. This is because the air molecules cause a frictional force that opposes the motion of the falling objects. As an object falls, it picks up speed. As it picks up speed, it also causes an increase in air resistance. It will keep increasing it until the air resistance equals that force, which is the weight of the object. That is the reason why heavier objects fall faster that lighter ones. When the air resistance of the object equals its weight, the object will stop accelerating.
    3. Energy
      1. Kinetic – energy that an object possesses as a result of its motion.
      2. Potential – energy that an object possesses as a result of its position or condition rather than of its motion.

Agenda:

Minutes Activity Description
0-8 Introduction Instructors will introduce themselves as well as explain the purpose of the workshop, give the rules and procedures for designing and construction, provide examples for possible designs and ideas, and finally answer any initial questions.
8-20 Groups/Design Students will be broken into groups at random and may begin on their designs.

 

Instructors will be available over any questions the students may have about their design.

 

Remaining time will be announced periodically.

20-50 Construction Students should begin constructing the carrier.

 

Instructors will be around to answer questions about constructing the carrier.

 

Remaining time will be announced periodically.

50-65 Testing Students will be taken out to a designated area to drop their carriers with the eggs inside. No changes can be made to the carrier at this time.
65-80 Revising and Editing Once the first round of testing has been done, the students who were unsuccessful with their first design can revise and re-construct their design during this time.

 

Students who were successful with their first egg drop test will be given an additional challenge with even more restrictions that will require the designs to be changed or completely redone.

80-90 Clean Up/Finale Before the work shop ends the students and instructors will clean up the annex.

Instructors will then conclude the workshop with final commentary and will answer any final questions.

Extension:

  1. Students who have finished, with time to spare, can go ahead and test their design in a location specified by the instructor.
  1. If the tests come out unsuccessful, the students can go back and either make adjustments to their original design or build an entirely new carrier and test that design for a second time.
  2. Students who have finished with time to spare, and who have successfully completed the drop test, will be given the option of taking on an additional challenge, decided by the instructor, that will require them to modify their design, but with more limitations (i.e. a limited number of materials, the removal of rubber bands from the list of materials available, etc.).

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Rules:IMG_0818

  1. 1/4 of the egg must be visible at all times.
  2. No parachutes or propellers are allowed.
  3. The design must allow raw egg to be easily inserted and removed.
  4. No tape can touch the egg.
  5. Other materials will be provided to help build the carrier, but they cannot be included in the design or in the final product (i.e. scissors, chopsticks, etc.)

Hints:

  1. Keep the design simple but efficient enough to be able to protect the egg.
  2. Try not to make your carrier too heavy but also not too fragile either.

 

Let’s get crackin’!

Sources:

http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/ask/300-What- is-gravity-

http://www.physics4kids.com/files/motion_gravity.html