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Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 31, 2010 05:25PM
I think I may have one that'll work and it's very simple. It's already survived 5 successive drops from approx. 20 ft onto cement or wood stair step. I'd like to test higher but can't easily.

The rules are that the contraption the egg rides in can be no more than 6"x6" however a parachute is permitted. It's going to be dropped off the school roof as part of a 1st Grade competition.

What I have an old cardboard box, 5.5"x5 3/4" The top is a single flap that closes; it was originally the package for a music box egg (!).

Inside it's lined with medium-size bubble wrap everywhere but the top flap and has 3 plastic bags from the grocery store.

One bag is roughly folded into a loose square and placed down inside. The second on top of that, with a small "nest" made for the passenger. I've been placing the egg on its side here. The third bag goes on top to fill the gap against the lid. When opening it up after a drop the egg shifts to one side each time near a box wall but that's about it.

What I like about it is that the box is strong enough to withstand repeated drops but light and loose enough to absorb a little of the impact. Previous attempts with light styrofoam bowls damaged the bowl and still transferred too much energy to the egg.

Another thing I like is that it doesn't have to fall straight down in order to protect the egg. A few times it's landed on a corner and just rolls a few few feet. The egg doesn't mind.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: archipirata
Date: March 31, 2010 05:39PM
Pretty impressive for something built by a 1st grader.





Athens, OH
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: rgG
Date: March 31, 2010 05:42PM
So, is this your "child's" 1st grade project? quotes smiley smiling smiley

This reminds me of an episode of Grounded for Life where one of the kids had to make a robot.





Alpharetta, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Dennis R
Date: March 31, 2010 05:44PM
It sounds like a winning design. I hope yours beats all those other kids dads designs.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Carnos Jax
Date: March 31, 2010 05:49PM
Utilize the parachute, but install some balsa wood fins along the periphery of the top edge of the container. These fins should be canted at an angle so that they cause the box to rotate (thereby extracting kinetic energy from the drop and convert it to rotational energy and drag). I don't know if this has been tried before, but it is an original idea from me (I did something similar in high school).


EDIT: I won the contest in HS (we dropped from the top of the football stadium, perhaps 3 stories). My design was a cardboard tube (like in a paper towl roll). The egg was near the top of the tube (with cushioning the rest of the way down). I had four fins (approx 2" x 1" ) and a parachute. The great thing was when it hit the ground, and the contraption fell over to its side, the fins prevented the tube from contacting the ground (preventing any direct energy transfer to the egg).



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2010 05:56PM by Carnos Jax.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: rtwdwk
Date: March 31, 2010 05:49PM
Standard HS physics project. I won best design. two round Styrofoam rings. Separated by wooden dowels to make a cylinder. Egg is a small container. small container suspended in the middle of the cylinder with heavy duty rubber bands. Bubble wrap around the outside of the cylinder, but not the top or bottom.
Out drop was two stories high.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: billb
Date: March 31, 2010 05:52PM
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 31, 2010 05:55PM
The first design had the egg suspended within a large bagel, or half bagel (hole cut open a little bit to fit the egg snuggly) and the bagel suspended inside 2 6" styrofoam soup bowls taped facing together. Not enough space inside left over for padding/shock absorption beyond whatever the styrofoam could muster.

And heck yes it's "my project." Hard enough just to tear him away from the computer to help out, but we're about to re-build it and test more.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: colonel panic
Date: March 31, 2010 05:56PM
I'm sure all the kids will learn a lot watching their dads make these contraptions. What do the dads kids win?



"They don't call me Colonel because I'm some dumb a$$ army guy" Colonel Homer J. Simpson
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: March 31, 2010 06:01PM
We had a similar contest in junior high -- stipulation of the contest was that the container/device had to be less than 8 oz. total weight (without the egg).

Winning device: simplicity itself, I was annoyed at myself that I didn't think of this. Take four long inflated balloons, line up along their length, put egg at the center, then tape around so that the egg is completely surrounded and enclosed. Drop from height, it typically lands on one end, then bounces a few times and egg survives intact.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: rgG
Date: March 31, 2010 06:05PM
Quote
deckeda
And heck yes it's "my project." Hard enough just to tear him away from the computer to help out, but we're about to re-build it and test more.

And don't even bother to show your face around here if you don't win. You kick those other dad's collective @#$%& and put a damned white Apple sticker on the outside of that box, while you are at it.

BTW, I once had to explain to my architect friend that she had to at least "dirty" up that precisely cut and nailed "log cabin" that our fourth graders were supposed to have made. Her's was freaking perfect. Put that beside the kid who made his out of foam hair rollers and it was hilarious. grinning smiley





Alpharetta, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 31, 2010 06:21PM
Rest assured the device is sufficiently ghetto and 'hood-like in appearance, inside and out, to pass even the nastiest NASCAR official with an itchy trigger finger on the rulebook.

But I make no apologies. This sort of thing is really best for older kids, as the former Jr. High and High Schoolers here have attested.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Winston
Date: March 31, 2010 06:38PM
My high school physics class had an egg-drop competition. Rule was you could only use toothpicks and Elmer's glue to protect the egg. Only other rule was it had to fit through the window. We were on the 3rd floor.

One of the winners looked like a porcupine - just layers and layers of glue and egg. Frankly, if the egg had broken no one would have been able to tell.

I had the right idea (a sort of extended cage around a box holding the egg) but I didn't allow enough time to make the cage big enough. Takes some time for the glue to dry trying to assemble those toothpicks. One of my friends succeeded with a similar design.

Ah, home engineering.

Can you use a helium balloon as the parachute?


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 31, 2010 06:45PM
Quote
Winston
Can you use a helium balloon as the parachute?

Everything must fit within the 6" package. I take that to mean a parachute that tucks inside for transport could be unfurled at launch. But we're gonna pass on that complexity.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: March 31, 2010 06:47PM
But I have to ask: what's going to be the effect of dropping it from a higher height? The school's roof is like 5o feet up?

Of course, I've been counting on the box having already reached max velocity within the 25 or so feet we've been dropping it at home.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: jdc
Date: March 31, 2010 06:48PM
sure, why not a balloon?





----

The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs [www.fakesteve.net]


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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Winston
Date: March 31, 2010 06:55PM
Quote
deckeda
Quote
Winston
Can you use a helium balloon as the parachute?

Everything must fit within the 6" package. I take that to mean a parachute that tucks inside for transport could be unfurled at launch. But we're gonna pass on that complexity.

I have visions of building a miniature hot air balloon. But you probably couldn't get it to inflate fast enough if it had to fit within 6" at the time it's dropped.

Sounds like you and sealed air have a good thing going.

Does anything prevent you from painting the outside of the egg with epoxy? Or rubber cement? Then you might be able to have an "au naturel" drop. Add wings and make an egglider! (I better stop thinking about this or I'll be up all night. Glad you didn't ask about Pinewood Derby cars.)


Good luck.

- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: rgG
Date: March 31, 2010 07:04PM
And, here is what's for lunch later. smiling smiley







Alpharetta, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Winston
Date: March 31, 2010 07:42PM
Quote
deckeda
But I have to ask: what's going to be the effect of dropping it from a higher height? The school's roof is like 5o feet up?

Of course, I've been counting on the box having already reached max velocity within the 25 or so feet we've been dropping it at home.

That's easy. Throw it instead of dropping it in your tests.


Good luck.

- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: March 31, 2010 08:34PM
Don't ask NASA for help. Look at all those Mars missions that cratered in.....
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Trouble
Date: March 31, 2010 08:47PM
Quote
Winston
One of the winners looked like a porcupine - just layers and layers of glue and egg. Frankly, if the egg had broken no one would have been able to tell.

Put a 1/2 layer of glue around the entire egg. tongue sticking out smiley
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Markintosh
Date: March 31, 2010 09:23PM
Here's the design that often wins. Put egg inside of a standard balloon (not inflated). Tie the open end of the balloon around a pencil. Suspend the pencil across the top of the box. Maximize the "stretch" room below the egg. The balloon does a great job of distributing the force.

I have many opportunities for doing this project in both of my jobs....seen a lot of projects.



“Live your life, love your life, don’t regret…live, learn and move forward positively.” – CR Johnson
Loving life in Lake Tahoe, CA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/31/2010 09:24PM by Markintosh.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Grace62
Date: March 31, 2010 09:42PM
Veteran of many elementary school egg drop contests; we had the fire dept bring a truck over to the school, and we dropped the eggs from the top of the ladder. Kids liked that better than the egg contest itself.
Last year in physics my son had to do this with only two 8 1/2 X 11 pieces of paper, some string, and a parachute.
He aced the contest by making a cone out of one sheet of paper, then tearing the other piece into small pieces and wadding them up to make a protective nest for the egg, which was placed near the top, nestled in, and then attached to the parachute with the string. Dropped from about 25 ft and didn't break.
Good luck and mostly have fun. First grade is pretty young for this concept but if it gets you guys working together, that's what matters.
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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: Mike V
Date: April 01, 2010 06:03AM
Hard boil your egg and use a bit of slight of hand when packing.

See the magic post from yesterday for inspiration.



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Re: Got a successful egg drop design?
Posted by: deckeda
Date: April 01, 2010 07:40AM
Well, he's off to school. Drew some last-minute arrows pointing up around the box in case whoever drops it needs a hint how to hold it. I could have stuffed another bag in there and it would have been symmetrical top and bottom, but didn't think of it quickly enough.

re: glue, epoxy, rubber cement, cooked egg et al:
Not specifically prohibited, but I;m under the impression that in order to prove a winning design used a raw egg that said egg would be cracked open?

**************************************************

Saw another dad at the bus stop this morning. I said, "So, how's YOUR design?" His eyes lit up and he begins to tell me about using a baby wipes container (I thought all those were more than 6" on one side …) with bubble wrap and cotton balls.
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