Brief Description:  Students will use the Engineering Design Process to design, build, and test a contraption that will keep their egg safe when it is dropped.

Grades: K-6

Time: 1 hour

Keywords: engineering design process, constraints


Lesson Objectives

  • Students will implement the engineering design process

Materials

  • Eggs (1 per group, hardboiled to prevent messes)
  • Cotton balls
  • Cardboard
  • Felt
  • Paper
  • Coffee filters
  • Tinfoil
  • Straws
  • Plastic bottles
  • Cups
  • String
  • Other found materials

Procedure

  1. Discuss the Engineering Design Process.
  1. Explain to students that they will be doing an egg drop for this activity. Each group will be given 1 egg and they must construct something for that egg so that it can survive being dropped from (predetermined) height. Encourage students to think outside the box for this activity.
    1. They can build parachutes, padded boxes, suspend the egg to prevent impact, etc!
  2. Students should plan and draw their design before getting materials to build.
  3. Allow students to build for 30 minutes.
  4. After students are finished building, test each design in front of the class. If you are dropping the eggs in the classroom, make sure you have put a drop cloth/newspapers/plastic bags under the test site to make cleanup easier.
  5. After the final tests are complete gather the class together to talk about this activity.
  6. Ask the students the following questions:
    1. What was the most challenging part of building?
    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 and Modifications

  • Limit the amount of materials students are permitted to use. This will introduce the idea of constraints.
  • Use this activity as a way to introduce LEGO pieces and tell students that they must make a LEGO cage for their egg padded with cotton balls and paper towels
    • If you opt for this modification, make sure you use hard boiled eggs because the legos will be reused and no one wants salmonella.

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