Welcome back from break!
While I love AP® Physics and all the rigor and challenge it brings, I have to say I am most excited to tackle the egg drop experiment in my physics course. Before I describe the awesomeness of this activity in detail, let me give you some background about this particular course.
Physics is predominantly composed of seniors who do not define themselves as math-y or science-y. Of course, there's a sprinkling of those who genuinely love quantitative analysis, but overall, this course is intended to expose students to physics concepts without the complication of high-level mathematics. Further, this is a hands-on, whiteboarding-heavy course that follows the modeling approach to teaching with my own modifications, adjustments, and personality mixed in! I also use my own brand of standards-based grading which I'm confident I will write about soon. We have just had a midterm covering balanced and unbalanced forces and constant and accelerated motion. Before we jump into momentum, we are going to do the EGG DROP EXPERIMENT!
This is no elementary school drop, in which you pop an egg into a pillow, chuck it out the window, and call it a day! We are MUCH more sophisticated :) Here are the details (written to the students).
Phases of the process:
- Using force and motion skills, analyze a sample drop. What is the poor little egg going to feel?
- Sketch out two completely different designs (a little engineering design process in there!)
- Build + prototype (a little more engineering design!)
- Final drop
- Reflect + analyze
- Your device must only be constructed with toothpicks, straws, rubber bands and hot glue. You do not need to use all of these items, but these are the only ones allowed. These will be provided to you.
- The egg must be fresh from the carton and not altered chemically, frozen, or boiled. The egg will be wrapped in saran wrap by me before I give it to you to prevent a mess during the drop.
- The total mass of your design (not including the egg) should be a maximum of 35 grams. In other words, if your egg has a mass of 60 grams, your device + egg must have mass of less than or equal to 95 grams. You must determine the mass of your egg before you start building your device AND keep track of it!
So what do you think? Can they do it? Typically, the success rate is around 30% to 40%. It wouldn't be fun if it isn't hard, right? I can't wait to see how it goes!!! Check out this post for the next installment!
Want to see the details of this work? Check out the egg drop packet!