Name of Activity Egg Helmet
Author STOMP
Keywords egg, drop, helmet, constraint, redesign, safety, drop test
Subject and Grade Level Non-LEGO, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Time 1 Hour Total
Lesson Objectives: – Introduce the students to engineering design
– Introduce sturdy building
– Introduce engineering for safety
Materials Needed: Per Group:
– one hard boiled egg
– 20 cotton balls
– 2 paper towel squares
– one meter of tape
– 15 plastic straws
Preparation and Set Up: – Create one kit for each group, create 2 kits for each group if you will have enough time for each group to do this activity twice.
– Be sure to have a good method for testing the egg drop to avoid a mess, this can be done several ways — 1) Set up an area with a tarp or newspaper underneath that can be cleaned easily, 2) Have students place their egg helmets in the ziplock bags for the test, 3) hardboil the eggs
Procedure Background:  Helmets are a form of protective gear that is worn on the head to prevent injury to the brain. Just like an egg, our heads can crack and be damaged by a bad fall. Helmets are used for many purposes and each purpose has a specific design. Bike helmets are to protect against falls when the rider looses their balance or is hit by a car. Bike helmets are sleek and rather small for good aerodynamics and so that it does not get in the riders way or field of vision. Other helmets such as hard hats protect the head from objects falling from above. Hockey helmets have a face guard to protect the face against flying pucks.The Engineering Design Process is an 8-step process that engineers use to create a complete design. This lesson emphasizes the Test and Evaluate step of this process, especially since a failed test means a failed design that should be redesigned. If students are allowed to build a second helmet the teacher should discuss Redesign as a step in the Engineering Design Process. A constraint is a limit placed on a design. Constraints are important in real engineering because companies have limits on the amount of money, amount of time, size, and materials they have for a design. The number of materials each group is given to complete the task is an example of a constraint.


  1. Arrange students in groups of two.
  2. Distribute kits to the groups.
  3. Explain the term constraint and ask the students if they can think of constraints for this activity. If they do not come up with the answer tell the students that they are constrained by the materials in their kits: they are only allowed to use the materials in the kit to build their helmet.
  4. If there are any other constraints (time, weight limit, size of the helmet) tell the students what they are and write them on the board.
  5. When each group has completd their design (15 – 20 minutes) gather the class together and allow each group to test their helmet in front of the class.
  6. If the groups are allowed a second design, let students redesign their helmets using a new kit.
  7. After the final tests are complete gather the class together to talk about this activity.
  8.  Ask the students the following questions:
    1. What was the most challenging part of building the egg helmet?
    2. What are some of the constraints of the activity and how did you work around them?
    3. How is this similar to engineering a real helmet? How is it different?
Extensions or Modifications: – Do this activity only using 4 sheets of paper and one meter of tape
– Use this activity as a way to introduce LEGO pieces and tell students that they must make a LEGO cage for their egg baded with cotton balls and paper towels
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3 Responses to Egg Helmet

  1. We did this activity to reintroduce our students to the engineering design process as the first activity of the spring 2014 semester. It was a really engaging activity that not only let the students build, but also throw it off the roof. There were a lot of creative ideas. Some students built parachutes to help the eggs glide to the ground.

  2. We did this in a types of engineering activity on aerospace engineering. We talked about the forces that act on the egg as it moves through the air, and the kids had a lot of fun making different designs to protect the egg.

  3. In our 5th grade classroom at JQS, we worked on cushioning as well as parachutes, to protect the egg from breaking once it was dropped. For the cushioning portion of the activity, students were given a variety of materials and told to create something out of them that would protect the eggs when dropped. Some of the materials we gave them include: straws, pipe cleaners, tape, balloons, Ziploc bags, string and newspaper. We intentionally gave them a wide variety of materials to see what they would use and how they would use it. Interestingly enough, we found that a lot of students began using balloons only to be disappointed that they popped quite easily. This posed a bigger challenge as time was running out and materials were running short. Overall, once we dropped the eggs, their cushioning devices were quite successful. We dropped the eggs from greater heights each time they survived the fall. This took a 1 hour class period.
    Our lesson on parachutes also took a 1 hour class period. We introduced the concept of air resistance to the students and explained how they were able to decrease the impact on the eggs. Students tested a variety of different materials for the parachute including plastic bags, newspaper, printer paper, and paper towels (these can be changed). We tied string onto a plastic cup using a whole puncher. The string was then attached to the parachute material and the egg was put in the cup. We dropped the eggs the same way we did from the cushioning activity.

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