The egg drop is a hands-on activity that gives students an opportunity to learn about parachutes. For this activity the students will drop an egg from a given height and try to make sure it remains unharmed. Many websites offer ideas and information about making egg drop parachutes from different types of materials. There are also interactive websites showing how the parachute's shape and size effects its movement.
Danger Dan Interactive - Parachute Area vs. Drop Time
Danger Dan is an online interactive game from the Caret website for teaching students how the area of a parachute as well as other variables affects the drop time. The students will play the game making needed adjustments to the size and shape of their parachute to help Danger Dan have a safe landing. This interactive game provides students with ideas about how the size and shape of the parachute will affect their egg's safe landing.
Garbage Bag Parachute
The first parachute suggestion from the Areo website shows students how to make a garbage bag parachute. For this parachute students need a garbage bag, a round dustbin lid as a template, scissors, tape, a hole punch, a sponge and string. The student's use the dustbin lid to make a circular shape of their parachute. They follow the website directions to prepare their parachute and to prepare their sponge as an egg protector for the egg drop. They use the string to tie the parachute and sponge holder together for the egg drop.
Leonardo da Vinci Paper Parachute
The Royal Aeronautical Society website offers students the directions for making a paper parachute. This parachute was designed by Leonardo da Vinci more than 400 years ago. To make this pyramid shaped parachute the students need paper, scissors, glue, string and a small paper cup to hold the egg. They follow the website directions for folding, cutting and gluing together the paper parachute then tie it to the paper cup. They add an egg to the paper cup for the egg drop.
The California State University Northridge website offers a parachute design restricted to "four long thin strips of paper attached to the remaining four corners of the newspaper and then to the egg". Other materials students use for this activity to protect the egg include cotton, styrofoam, poster board, tape, glue, socks, garbage bags, toilet paper, cardboard and straws. This website also provides students with a rubric for the activity as well as worksheets for writing the analysis and results of the egg drop.