Egg Drop Test Ideas

Written by carolyn rumsey
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Egg Drop Test Ideas
There are many ways to keep an egg from breaking when it is dropped. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Protecting an egg from breaking provides insight to a common problem faced by scientists such as the NASA engineers who had to figure out to drop a rover onto Mars without damaging it, or the engineers who study how bicycle helmets can prevent a fragile brain from being injured in a crash. There are many ways to achieve this degree of protection. A few basic techniques will get the job done, but they can also be elaborated for added security.

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Crispy Rice Cereal

Cereal can provide enough padding to protect an egg. Put the egg in a sandwich-sized plastic bag. Pour in enough crispy rice cereal to fill the bag and shake and manoeuvre the egg to the middle of the bag. Mark this bag the "egg bag" so you don't forget which bag the egg is in. Fill four other plastic bags with more cereal. Put all of these bags into a gallon-sized bag. Once again, shake and manoeuvre the cereal in the bag to make sure the egg is as close to the centre as possible.

Egg Drop Test Ideas
Crispy cereal pads the egg and prevents it from breaking. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Nylons and a Shoebox

When the egg is well suspended in a flexible container, the container will keep it from touching the ground and being damaged. Use a knee-high nylon stocking or cut a single leg off a pair of regular stockings. Place the egg in the centre of the nylon stocking and tightly secure two rubber bands on either side of the stocking to prevent the egg from moving. Suspend the egg in a shoebox by attaching the two ends of the stocking to opposite sides of the box, making sure the egg is in the middle of the box. Glue, tape or staples can be used depending on what supplies you have.

Styrofoam Cups

Styrofoam can be a great way to keep an egg safe because it has both padding and strength qualities. Place a heavy object like a dense rock or any other small object that weighs more than an egg in the bottom of one styrofoam cup. This will help ensure that the stack of cups lands upright when it is dropped. Stack six more cups on top of the weight and place your egg in the top cup. Place one more cup on top of the egg to keep the egg in place. Prevent movement and separation by gluing or taping all the cups together.

Egg Drop Test Ideas
Foam is a popular solution because it is strong and can absorb the force of an impact. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Straws and Newspaper Padding

A structure made of straws can keep your egg suspended. Build a triangle with three flexible straws by folding one end of a straw into a compact shape and sticking it in the end of another straw. Build a second triangle in the same way. Lay one of the triangles on a flat surface. At each corner of the triangle, tape or glue a Popsicle stick so that you have three supports sticking upright out of the base triangle. Tape each of the three corners of the second triangle to the ends of the upright Popsicle sticks. Secure the egg in the middle of the device by using tape or string to attach it to two of the Popsicle sticks. Make sure the string is very tight. Test the stability of the suspended egg by lightly pushing on the egg to make sure it does not slide up or down. Surround the egg with padding such as newspaper, foam and cotton balls. The egg can be placed in other geometric shapes made out of straws such as a pyramid, tetrahedron or octahedron.

Additional Ways to Improve a Design

There are other ways you can make your protective apparatus more secure. Make a parachute by cutting out a square piece of a plastic from a garbage bag. Tie a string around each corner of the plastic and attach these strings to your protective device. This will slow down the speed at which it drops, making the impact less severe. Mimicking actual strategies used on space craft, you can even attach wings to your device. This will slow down the rate at which it falls.

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