Physics: Checking in on the Egg Drop!

I thought you might be interested in how the egg drop is going!

Each of my three sections of physics has done the preliminary calculations, created two sketches, and had two build days.  The big drop happens next week!  Class time is all about the build now, but I don't want them to get rusty on their skills.  So they have a couple of problems about different drop scenarios to investigate for homework to keep them fresh!

Now for some pictures!  Here is an example of one student's design options.

phase 2 egg drop sketchesPhase 2 of egg drop project second sketch

Here is the tablecloth (pink of course :) ) covering each of the four lab tables.  Note the nice egg puns at each station.  I couldn't resist!!

Physics room prepped for egg drop building

Here are some images of one student's progress as well as a collection of work from all classes.

Student halfway through egg drop buildingAll regular physics projects in the middle of building

For dramatic effect, here is the scene of the future drop!  From the high railing to the intimidating, cold, hard tile floor.

Location of the egg drop

If you're curious about the problems the students are doing outside of class, here is a sample!  These kids are getting really good at these multi-step problems.

Example of physics homework problem about egg drop

Students are performing test drops if they wish or focusing on one design over the course of all of the build days.  I love how invested they become in the outcome!  While it's a challenge to keep the accelerated motion and force skills active during this time, I strongly believe it's important for these kids to be exposed to the beginnings of the design process.  Further, the success rate for this drop is around 30%.  The experience of design failure is one I wish I had had before freshman year of college in engineering school.  I also think it's important to encourage students to practice supporting each other during a hands-on experience which takes many of them outside of their comfort zone.  Who knew hot-gluing straws could be so intimidating?  Or dropping an egg two stories?  Many of the kids who decide to test are absolutely quaking when they release their eggs.

Before I close, another thing I love about this project is that students outside of my physics classes get excited.  Students hanging out during free periods watch seniors (who they look up to and often watch from a distance) really caring about and investing in their work.  Even better, seniors invite other students who aren't in physics to come hang out with them in the physics room while they build during free periods.  I love that this project gets more members of the community pumped to take physics senior year!  On the very first day of class, I always get the question, "So when are we dropping eggs?"  To which I respond, "Well, we're gonna learn some physics first, but the time will come!"

If you want to see how the egg drop was set up in the first place, check out my earlier post!  If you want to see the conclusion, see my next post!


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