Every year, one of the highlights of 8th grade science is to create a device that you can drop an egg from various heights. This is not a new challenge by any means (in fact, I did this when I was in 8th grade!).
In the past, I’ve done the same thing with the 8th grade every year. The students are given a list of supplies to choose from to create their egg drop device, and those are the only items they can use. This year, I wanted to try something different! Rather than giving them a list of approved supplies, I decided to give a list of things NOT allowed. Students had to think more creatively and have a much wider range of materials to work from.
I also think it’s funny when students make their devices look like a chicken. It cracks me up every time! The most creative design gets extra credit points, but I also throw in a few extra points for the chicken ones. They deserve a bonus for putting forth that slightly extra effort. This year, we had some especially creative designs!
The Egg-cellent Event
The big event happens in the parking lot of our school. All the lower grades that can come file into the parking lot area and sit in rows on the pavement. Our school’s amazing maintenance man actually does the egg dropping for me. He is amazing, and sets up the ladder against the school before I even arrive in the morning! (Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the set up this year!) I have the students drop their egg devices from a 3 meter mark and then a 4 meter park for their grade. If the eggs survive from both those heights, we also drop their egg from the “roof” which is really as high on the super long ladder our maintenance man is willing to go!
To summarize, here are my rules and regulations for the drop:
- Students may NOT use any materials on the “Do not use” list, which include food items, glass, metal, bubble wrap, balloons, etc.
- Students must have their devices ready to go at the time of the drop.
- Devices must be created so that the egg can be put into the device easily before the drop and then taken out once the drop is completed to prove there are no cracks on the egg.
- The teacher will provide all the eggs.
- Repairs and adjustments MAY be made during the dropping time. Materials needed for these repairs should be provided by the student and they have to make these repairs before their turn comes again.
I do grade this project. In order to receive 100%, students must follow all directions both in preparing their egg drop device and while the egg drop event is occurring. The eggs also may not crack when dropped from the 3 meter height AND the 4 meter height. If cracks appear or their egg breaks, they do get another try for these heights, but not at full credit.
Overall, this event, is one of the most anticipated projects. My eighth graders just love going out and having all the younger students watching them and cheering them on! It is something that the whole school looks forward too!