Engineering Problems To Solve

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To reinforce the crash analogy, the six teams started the egg drop challenge by watching two videos from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

This organization studies how to keep people safe during car crashes.

The students all remained confident the egg would land intact.

Later, the team would use the time and the distance the egg fell to calculate how fast it was traveling when it hit the floor.

Engineers design automobiles to protect the people inside, just like a paper bag filled with packing peanuts and bubble wrap can protect an egg.

Unfortunately, the White Team’s second drop didn’t end so well for the egg: “It broke into so many pieces! On the next try, the students added more bubble wrap, which solved the problem.

Eventually, the White Team figured out how to protect an egg enough to allow it to survive a drop from nearly 8 feet (2.4 meters) above the ground.

All the other teams protected their eggs too — although not always on the first try.

The delicate egg hatched some heavy discussion among the five young scientists inspecting a pile of squishy packing materials. ” asked Samuel Coulson, 14, of West Platte High School in Weston, Mo. “Stop popping it,” said Maria Elena Grimmett, 13, from Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla.

The team, working with only the materials at hand, had to devise a way of protecting a raw egg from a series of increasingly higher drops. The 7th- to 9th-graders qualified as finalists in the competition based on a science fair project from the previous academic year.


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