Defying Gravity

4.1 based on 21 ratings

Updated on Feb 08, 2012

Grade Level: 6th - 12th; Type: Physical Science, Engineering

Objective:

The goal of this project is to create a protective device to keep a raw egg from cracking during free fall.

Research Questions:

  • What happens when you increase the free fall distance?
  • How does "padding" an object work?

Materials:

  • Carton of eggs
  • Yard stick/Measuring Tape
  • Various Supplies for creating a protective device.

Experimental Procedure

  1. Brainstorm on various ways to protect the egg from cracking.
    • What kinds of materials are used in safety devices for sports and automobiles? Think of the materials that we use to protect ourselves in various situations.
    • Photograph and document your design.
  2. Two foot free fall: Using a yard stick or measuring tape measure a distance of 2 feet from the floor. This is the first height at which you will test your device. Calculate the acceleration at 2 ft.
  3. The egg drop: Cover the floor with plastic for easy egg clean up. Using a yardstick hold your device, with egg, so that the bottom is 2 feet from the floor. Drop the egg by releasing your grip. Do not throw the egg down.
  • Did your device work?
    • No - you need to do some tweaking. Photograph and document the changes you made. Why did you make that change?
    • Yes - Move on to step 4.
  1. Now drop the egg from 3 feet.
  2. Continue testing up to 6 feet, increasing each drop by 1 foot.
  3. What happens as you increase the free fall distance? Did you have to improve on your design?

Terms/Concepts: Free Fall; Gravity; Acceleration; Velocity; Force; Shock Absorber; Damping

References:

Melissa Bautista is a research scientist, freelance editor, and writer, with a focus in Neuroscience. She believes in establishing solid foundations in education through experience, creativity, and collaboration. She is fascinated by pedagogy and the concept of learning through living.

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