An egg drop contest allows participants to experiment with designs as they try to protect an egg dropped from an elevated position. The goal of the contest is to protect the egg from cracking or breaking on impact with the ground. Players come up with many designs to achieve this goal, but nearly all are some variation of four basic ideas.
The cube is a structure that suspends the egg in the centre of the cube. The straws act as shock absorbers, reducing the force of the impact. If you're using 12 straws, use eight bent and folded straws to make up the outside cube structure. Use the remaining straws to hold the egg in the centre of the cube. These can be tied together with other glue or twist ties.
In egg drops, cushioning is often the best method of preserving an egg. Some opt to completely encase their egg in a cocoon of protective straw layers. The more layers, the better protected the egg. These layers of straws are frequently tied together at the ends, forming a sharp, spiky appearance. The spikes further serve to protect the egg by acting as shocks, reducing the force of impact as concussive waves travel up the spike to the egg.
Similar to the cube, this egg drop idea relies on similar principles. A tetrahedron is a triangular pyramid, made of four triangular faces. Its structure forms a protective barrier that acts as a shock absorber to reduce the effects of the impact on the egg held suspended in the centre of the tetrahedron. The triangular shape of the tetrahedron serves an additional purpose in stabilising itself during the drop and reduces excess bouncing on impact.
Some egg drop contests allow players to attempt to slow the descent of their egg in order to improve its chances of survival. The parachute is the most classic form of device added to egg drop structures to slow descent. A core structure of straws is built to hold and protect the egg and the parachute is made of paper or plastic. It can be a circle attached to the top of the egg drop structure to catch air as it falls. It can also sometimes be a flat piece of paper or tightly pulled piece of plastic attached to the base of the structure. Poke holes in the paper or plastic so some air can pass through.