In elementary and middle school, science teachers often challenge their students to build an egg catcher to protect a raw egg dropped from a height of 10 feet or so. Sometimes students are given the freedom to choose their own building materials, but most teachers give students a specific list of materials they must use, such as straws. There are many ways to create an egg catcher using only straws and tape, but if you keep a few tried-and-true strategies in mind, you'll be sure to build a successful model.
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Hard boil some eggs to use during the test process. This makes it easier to clean and reuse unsuccessful egg catchers.
Bend two to four straws around an egg and tape them in place. Intersect these straws with four to six more straws and tape them in place to form a cage.
Tape the rest of your straws to the cage structure in the design of your choosing. Some students simply wrap as many straws as possible around the egg. Other students construct a large cube or octagonal prism out of a few straws, then secure the smaller cage inside the cube or prism with long strips of tape. Test out different methods to find out which model works best.
Test your egg catcher by standing on a ladder and dropping the egg from a height of 10 feet (or more or less, depending on the teacher's specific instructions).
Inspect your egg to see if it has any cracks. If it does, tweak your egg catcher to increase your chances of success. According to the Lunar and Planetary Institute, lighter egg catchers work better. Consider removing some straws or other materials to decrease the weight. If you are allowed to add additional materials, consider adding bubble wrap or a small parachute to slow down or cushion the fall.
Place a raw egg in your egg catcher after you have a successful trial with a hard-boiled egg. If the raw egg doesn't break, you can use the egg catcher for your school assignment.
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