Eggshells are easily broken when you hit them over a hard surface, but eggshells are actually very strong. If you squeeze an egg in your palm, you'll see it takes considerable force to crush the shell. Egg drop science projects explore different methods of dropping a raw egg without breaking it.
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Sinking Eggs and Floating Eggs
When an egg is placed in water, it will float or sink, depending on the density of the liquid around it. Determine what might happen if the egg is dropped into liquids with different densities. Drop an egg at the top of the water line and observe what happens. Drop the egg into salt water and observe. Salt makes the water denser, and with enough salt, the egg will rise because the liquid surrounding it becomes denser or heavier than the egg. Experiment by dropping the egg from different heights into fresh water, salt water and other liquids such as syrup or milk.
Newton's Law of Inertia
To demonstrate Newton's Law of Inertia, fill a large glass three-quarters full with water and centre a pie plate over the glass. Position a toilet paper tube vertically on the plate, so that it is directly over the water. Set the egg on top of the tube and hit the edge of the pie plate horizontally. The egg should drop into the water without breaking. The egg is not moving while it sits on the tube, and it doesn't want to move. When you hit the pie pan and it is forced out from under the tube, the edge of the pan hooks the bottom of the tube and removes the egg's support. The egg doesn't move for a very brief moment because it is already stationary. Then gravity pulls the egg straight down.
Make a raw egg bounce. Place several raw eggs into separate plastic cups of vinegar. Wait three or four days for the shell to dissolve completely. After the shells have completely dissolved, remove the eggs using a plastic spoon and set them on paper towels. There should be a waxy coating on the eggs. Begin at a height of about 2 inches, and drop the egg onto a hard surface such as a tabletop. The egg should bounce. Hold it an inch higher and drop it again. Continue dropping from increasing heights until the egg breaks. The eggs will bounce because the acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the calcium in the egg shell. This dissolves the shell, but leaves the membrane protecting the egg behind.
Classic Egg Drop
Create a container that will prevent a raw egg from breaking when it is dropped from a distance of at least 3 feet. Do not use glass, metal or wood containers. Any sort of material may be used inside. Determine how to build the container so that the egg is best protected, and explain in your experiment why you used the materials you selected. Experiment with different designs until you find one that works, and examine the differences between the successful container and the ones that didn't protect the egg. Typically, an effective container will either slow the egg's downward momentum as it falls, or it will reduce the impact when it lands.
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