You are on page 1of 5


Honors Project MP 3: Egg Drop Due March 25, 2013 Overview of Project: Design two different capsules to protect a raw egg during a two story drop. Calculate the average speed of each capsule and record observations about the damage of the egg. Then defend which capsule is more efficient and explain the science behind it. Considerations: 1. The honors project extends what we are learning in class by applying Forces and Speed to an engineering challenge. 2. The honors project is completely independent of school (there will be little to no time given in class to complete it). 3. Dont procrastinate! It takes time and effort to submit a project that is worthy of honors distinction. 4. You may need others to help you with the drop (dropping capsule, timing, etc.) but you must design and construct the capsules yourself.
Parts of this assignment description were taken from:
Terry, Rachel. (2013). Egg Drop Challenge Ideas. Retrieved from

Egg Drop
The Challenge
Design and construct two capsules that will cushion a raw egg's fall after it is dropped from a height of at least 15 feet without it breaking. Then, determine which of the two capsules is more effective in protecting the egg and defend your choice using quantitative and qualitative data.

Products to Be Turned In
1. Two egg capsules (bring in the actual capsules or a photograph of each) a. If you are bringing the capsules in, please put them in a bag together and make sure your name is clearly labeled on them 2. Scientific journal

Constructing a Capsule
The internet has everything these days so why reinvent the wheel? Check out these tiles that will show you some egg capsule ideas: Whether you choose to construct what is suggested here or simply draw inspiration for your own design, you must design and build two different capsules in which to drop raw eggs. The designs should withstand three trials. Ultimately your goal is to protect the egg so that it will not break.

The Parameters
There are no size restrictions on the capsules- they can be as big or small as you want. Materials can include, but are not limited to shoe boxes, stockings/socks, packing peanuts, cereal, water bottles, paper towel rolls, Styrofoam, milk/juice containers, etc. This project should not be expensive- use what you have around your house! Your capsule must be constructed by you, not purchased as a pre-designed kit.

Explore New Materials

Bubble wrap provides a layer of air between your capsule and the egg. In making your egg drop capsule, consider using new materials that you haven't thought of before. Foam tubing insulation, straws, bubble wrap, cement glue, crazy glue, cotton balls, foam peanuts, plastic grocery bags and home insulation are all interesting materials you could incorporate into your design. Remember that you want to keep your capsule light, and air is a good insulator. Therefore, using materials that provide air space within your design will help to protect your egg.

Capsule Design
Experiment with different designs for your egg drop capsule. A box-within-a-box design adds an extra layer of insulation, as long as the space between the two boxes is filled with a material that keeps the inner box from jostling too much. Some students have had success using unusual shapes for their designs such as cones, pyramids and cylinders. Others add design details like helicopter blades, wings and parachutes. Scientists often get their ideas from observing nature, and you can do the same thing. How do maple seeds drop to the ground? They are designed to move in spirals to slow down their gravitational journey. What makes feathers fall so slowly? They are lightweight and have increased air resistance because of their many tiny hairs. By asking yourself questions such as these, you can incorporate nature's wisdom into your egg drop capsule design.

Packing tape is strong, but it may add too much weight to your egg drop capsule. Play with different adhesives (glue/tape) to figure out which ones work best with your chosen materials. In most cases, it's best to keep your egg drop capsule as light as possible, so you'll need to find the best lightweight durable adhesive to keep your materials together.

The Drop
Place a raw egg in the first capsule. Go to a safe drop spot that is at least 15 feet in height (second floor height). *Adult supervision is encouraged* When you release the egg, start the timer. When the capsule hits the ground, stop the timer. Record the time in your data table. Record the distance of the drop as well. Go down to the capsule and record observations about the damage to the egg. *Suggestion: Take a before and after picture of the egg for each trial* Repeat for a total of 3 trials. Be sure to record if adjustments/repairs are made between trials. Find the speed for each trial and record in your journal. Find the mean speed for capsule 1. Place an egg in the second capsule. Go to the drop spot and test the second capsule three times. Record the distance, times, and speed for all three trials. Find the mean speed for capsule 2.

Conclusion and Analysis

In your scientific journal, write a conclusion to your experiment. Which capsule was more effective in protecting the egg? Use both quantitative and qualitative data to support your reasoning. Next, do some research to find the science behind why one capsule protected the egg more effectively than the other. Consider the forces related to the materials used, weight of the capsule, and type of surface the capsules made impact on. Refer back to to get started on the research.

Scientific Journal
Scientists record their designs, data, observations, and conclusions in a journal. You too will be keeping a journal during your Egg Drop experiment. Your scientific journal should include: 1. 2. 3. 4. Your name, date, and period written neatly on the cover Sketch or photograph of each capsule List of materials used to construct each capsule Hypothesis (prediction): Which capsule do you think will be more effective in protecting the egg and why? 5. Description of the drop: Where did you drop the capsules from? What were the conditions were like? Some ideas: Were you indoors or outdoors? If outdoors, was it windy? What kind of surface did it land on? Etc. 6. Quantitative Data (numbers) a. Record the times of each drop in the data table b. Use the times and known distance to calculate the speed of each trial (3 trials total for each capsule) c. Dont forget to include correct units of measurement 7. Average speed for each capsule a. Add all three trials speeds and divide by 3 (find the mean speed) b. Dont forget to include correct units of measurement 8. Qualitative Data- Describe using words, the damage of the egg (if any) a. Observe and record how cracked your egg was after each trial b. Suggestion: Take a before and after photo of the egg for each trial 9. Conclusion: Which capsule was more effective in protecting the egg? Use both quantitative and qualitative data to support your reasoning. 10.Force Diagram of each capsule (separate from the sketch) a. A force diagram consists of drawing of the object, all forces identified, and arrows showing the direction and size of each force (length of the arrow matters) 11.Analysis: Why did one capsule protect the egg more effectively than the other? Support using scientific research. Paint a scared expression on your egg before dropping it in your capsule for added comedic value.


Capsules Scientific Journal:
Name, Sketches, Materials, Force Diagrams
Student did not turn in capsules or a photograph of the capsules.

Student constructed one capsule, OR the capsules were not well made.

Student constructed two different capsules. The capsules were thoughtful and made with good effort. Student included their name, sketches, a list of materials used, and a force diagram of each capsule. Student included a hypothesis written as a complete statement and the description of the drop was detailed. Student included the speed of each capsule, for all three trials. The average speed for each capsule was included. All quantitative data was accurate based on the results and written with correct units. Student described the damage of the egg in detail for every trial, for both capsules. Student came to a viable conclusion that stated whether their hypothesis was correct or not, answered the research question, and supported their answer with BOTH quantitative and qualitative data. Student explained the science behind their capsule design thoroughly and supported it with research.

Student omitted three or more: name, sketches, materials, and force diagrams. Student omitted one or more: hypothesis and description of the drop Student did not include the speeds for all trials and failed to find the average speed for both capsules OR data was not calculated accurately.

Student omitted two of the four pieces: name, sketches, materials, and force diagrams. Student included a hypothesis that was not written as a complete statement OR the description of the drop was not very detailed. Student included the speed of each capsule. The average speed for each capsule was included. Few errors were made in finding the quantitative data OR minimal errors in writing the correct units. Student only included before and after pictures, but did not describe the damage in words. OR Student was not very descriptive. OR Student omitted descriptions for at least three trials. Student only included three of the four pieces: Was hypothesis correct? Answer the research question. Support using quantitative data. Support using qualitative data. Student attempted to explain the science behind their capsule design. Research was vague or minimal.

Scientific Journal:
Hypothesis and Description of the Drop

Scientific Journal:
Quantitative Data and Average Speeds

Scientific Journal:
Qualitative Data

Student omitted descriptions for four or more trials.

Scientific Journal:

Student only included one or none of the four pieces.

Scientific Journal:

Students explanation was incorrect, OR was not supported by research OR was not complete.

Total Score: ____________ out of 28 assessment points *Must score 22 out of 28 points (or higher) to be considered Honors in Science for MP 3* Extra credit for Non-Honors: 28/28= 3 points, 20-27 = 2 points, 10-19= 1 point, 9 & below= 0 points