Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

1st place Egg Drop project ideas- using SCIENCE


so my favorite class in high school was physics it opened my eyes to the fact that we can understand and predict so much of the everyday world around us using math and equations so today i wanted to revisit the classic high school physics egg drop competition where you have to build some sort of contraption around an egg to make sure it doesn’t crack when it hits the ground. Originally I wanted to do a bunch of research and testing to find the single best way to win the competition every time But what I found out with that each competition sort of has different rules in some you’re not allowed to use popcorn or parachutes and in others you win if your contraption is the smallest or the lightest or both so i’m going to show you five super easy options and then we’ll talk about why each one works let’s go crack some eggs okay so let’s start with the popcorn ball the basic principles that you put your egg in the middle of a box that contains some kind of cushioning materials such as bubble wrap or packing peanuts or popcorn personally I think this one is the most boring but it works and that’s why every shipping company ever ships this way. I’m using a ball here because it’s more weight efficient than a box, where you have unnecessary cushioning in the corners plus the stretchiness of the ball will help absorb some of the energy the moment of truth and we have an intact egg now before I show you the other four ideas let’s talk about the science behind landing with an uncracked egg so at the start of your drop your egg is up high and it’s stationary so it has potential energy which is the energy associated with height so these red blocks represent the potential energy and the higher I go the more blocks of energy I start and then as the egg falls, that potential energy is converted to kinetic energy which is the energy of speed so you start up high and every single block is over here as potential energy but as you start to fall and fall faster and faster every single block comes over here is kinetic energy or speed and now your egg is about to impact the ground and have all this energy in the form of speed that’s got to go somewhere now this broom represents the standing energy that holds an eggshell together it makes it hard so the way to think about this is when your egg hits the ground do you introduce more energy than the binding energy of the molecules holding the hard eggshell together at any point you’re going to break at that point so the question then becomes what can we do to keep our blocks below the broom because simply put below the broom your egg is safe anything above the broom and your egg is busted well there’s two things we can do the first is that we can make this pile of green blocks not as tall this is why no matter what your contraption is to protect the egg if your rules allow it you should make a parachute the bigger the better and it does not have to be fancy this is like old-school army guys style just cut up bag little bit of string little bit of tape and just looking at this you can see the difference a parachute could make so the second thing you can do is not to remove any green blocks by reducing your speed but to spread them out so if we say left to right as our time axis the more we could stretch out this impact event the more we can lower that high energy spike and this is a cool way to think about any two objects impacted the longer the duration of the impact the more you can spread out that force so stuff doesn’t break so for example this is the point of car air bags instead of your head hitting the steering wheel and stopping near instantaneously it stretches out the impact force overtime so you don’t get a quick spike that exceeds the broom line for your skull this is exactly why long jumpers prefer to land it’s sand and not on asphalt and why parkour runners will always roll after a big jump it’s all about defusing the force over a longer period of time so what does that mean for our egg contraptions it truly is something to keep in mind because it can make it more intuitive for example to see why putting your egg in the middle of a jar of peanut butter which is a popular and not a very good idea isn’t as good as putting your egg in the middle of a popcorn ball okay back to the bridge so a lot of people like to build contraptions out of straws and in some competitions that’s all you have to work with how you configure your straws depends a little bit on how stiff they are the good folks at wendys have fairly stiff straws which means I didn’t have to use quite as many so my idea was to take six like three inch long straws and build a regular triangular pyramid and then put the egg in the middle And then I took two of the Wendy straws and join them together to sort of make a mega straw and I use this wide tape to help prevent it from buckling and then I made six of those mega straws and simply taped one to each edge of the pyramid So the main point here is that there are no straws pointing directly at the egg when it impacts the ground the force goes up the stiffness path through the straw I saw a ton of examples online where the straw was actually pointed at the a we could create a puncture load in our case we have this pyramid so all the loads pass next to the egg so you don’t get that primary impact three two one So you’ll notice we’ve got a couple of broken pieces but that’s okay because it took energy to make those breaks and that sort of protect the shell of the egg and receiving that energy so success ok so our egg finally broke but it took about 20 tries and you can see there’s a lot of busted straws here all in all it was pretty resilient so this one is a throwback to my NASA roots in 2004 the emmy our Rovers landed on Mars using giant airbags and even though Mars has one-third the gravity of Earth I figured it would still work I started by cushioning the egg in four little balloons that I barely filled up and then I blew up bigger balloons and then just tied it all together with some string and tape and then if there’s any gaps in coverage you can just tape a balloon directly to the stream you just tied around in addition to the balloons extending the impact time this design benefits from a large cross-sectional area relative to his weight so in a sense it becomes its own parachute Of course if your rules allow it you should still throw an additional parachute on it anyways “Touchdown Confirmed, We’re safe on Mars” *cheering* Music I’m 2012 we landed another rover on Mars called curiosity but this one was too big to use airbags so we had to have a power to send pretty much like a jet pack so I wanted to pay tribute to curiosity I got to work on her for seven years and at first I was thinking like model rocket but without gyroscopes and control algorithms things can get pretty unsafe pretty quickly so I thought of this idea where I use balloons that could deflate and then they would provide upward thrust like before landing but… No and as ridiculous as this might seem it’s actually not a violation for most rules because you’re not touching it once you’ve released it the fact is most competitions are using rules that were written before you could go on amazon and buy a toy drone for less than 50 bucks intact egg. I save this one for last since I’ve never seen anyone do it and it’s probably my favorite in terms of its simplicity you want to buy fewer balloons than you need and then just pop them until you get to the point where you’re just under neutrally buoyant and you can see at the bottom I’ve just got this little protector of the egg you don’t have to get fancy but I use those little animal balloons that it seems to work pretty good this one weighs in at a couple ounces so it is a strong option if your competition favors lighter contraptions music so which one is the best again it sort of depends on the rules of your competition in some cases being smallest gets you the most points so I’m thinking in airwolf all the way if being like wait is the most important then go with the helium up house method and if you’re egg just needs to survive then you can pick any one of these but the most important part is to have fun and experiment and learn something and then to dominate your competition yeah you guys are good no that’s all right it’s all right and now you’re on YouTube Thanks for watching if you learn something or if you didn’t learn something or if you’re a mammal then you should subscribe 🙂 Is your blood warm you got a four-chambered heart? welcome aboard Please Like and subsribe 🙂

Reader Comments

  1. What if you put soda bottles around the egg and put mentos in them to slow the decent, put the bottles facing down, would that work?

  2. High concentration of salt water inside a bottle Cody from Cody’s Lab did this but in a welded sell box from a cliff and survived and most high schools do it from smaller height so theoretically it can work

  3. I have a egg drop competition in school and literally EVERYONE is using your ideas, so basically the teachers have no idea and everyone is going to get super good grades from this video

  4. When i wasa kid like 4 years on we lived in a flat i threw an egg outthe 9th floor and guess what? iT DID NOT EXPLODE I WENT DOWN TO CHEACK IT AND IT WAS FULLY INTACT!

  5. Once i made a piramid out of paper and tape with torn up and crumpled paper on the inside. When i put in the egg and taped it shut i tied a bigger disc shaped piece of paper for a parashute and dropped it. It glided so magestically and hit the ground the softest of anyone in my class.

  6. Funny story in stem class we had to make something fly up and come down and land… yea so my friends and I decided on like a rocket thing that we made… IT WORKED! Just uh errrrr…. eef the way the balloons were placed and the toilet paper rolls were place it looked like something and bc it worked our stem teacher took a pic of it with us and the whole class was dying laughing and of course the photo was on the school page IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL😂😂 oh boy those were the good times…

    Rip D.N.A who got destroyed when I got home bc no one deserved to see that😂😂😬

  7. I have been waiting for YEARSS to finally do the egg drop and this year I finallly get my wish
    That’s for the great content and help!

  8. Wouldn’t have been able to use any of these ideas. Had to be under 20 cm on any side, no food, egg had to be in a plastic bag that could be easily put in, no parachutes, had to be a container, and had to be easily replicated.

  9. We are doing something like this, but we are copying it from NASA’s escape pod thing (forgot name), we have it slam down on a brick so we need it to stop right before it hits. HELP ME MARK

  10. Just drop your phone while it's on the Insta app and search up egg, if the screen cracks just tell the teacher that the egg was in your pocket

  11. i did the drone thing and got an "award" for being a smart a**
    some other kid somehow i dont know how got line-x on his egg and he got the award for way over complication

  12. When I was a freshman in highschool we had to make a car out of a foot of scotch tape, one of those cardboard boats for food, and 2 sheets of paper. The goal was to make sure our passenger"the egg" didn't crack after the car drove down a 15 ft ramp at a 50 degree angle.
    The lesson was to teach about the physics of car crashes and how crumple zones/air bagsworked

  13. Wait… The NASA engineer's favorite class was PHYSICS?!?! Someone contact the news channels! Oprah! Maybe ever Dr. Phil! This is game-changing! OMG!

  14. This is a story of a man
    He egg without a protection and didn’t crack
    He thought himself will I crack?
    He threw himself and splat. Dead.

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