Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

The Egg Drop

Posted on: June 6, 2008

I haven’t done this project in a couple of years.  The reason is simple, our school is in a one story building.  There isn’t any place near enough to drop these things.  I wanted to do it again this year, I need a drop zone.  I was considering building an air powered launcher or maybe a giant sling shot.  Maybe a large catapult.  I’m still thinking.

If you haven’t done an egg drop project, you need to try it at least once.  You also need to really research some of the college competitions.  The rules are very specific and you have to watch out for creating loopholes.  Parachutes are never allowed.  There are volume limits and maximum dimensions.  Obviously the eggs are raw.  The project can get very messy.

I like to do these as competitions.  The first time I did this, I was at a school that had two floors.  I figured none would survive the two story drop.  All but one did.  We decided to get into vans and go to the top of a nearby five story parking garage.  Rather than drop them one at a time, we just launched them all at once.  Good thing too, security showed up.  Yeah, we probably should have called and asked permission.  Next time.  Anyway, two of the eggs survived the five story drop.  Who says physics is boring?


21 Responses to "The Egg Drop"

I was pretty excited to find this site. I’m the only physics teacher at my school (in fact, I teach a general science class as well as some math courses on occasion). I’m trying to do more projects (in fact any projects would be good) but I get stuck on where to start. Were you planning on posting the instructions and rubrics for this project?

Thanks 🙂

I don’t think I have anything formal to post. This was the very first activity I did when I started teaching six years ago. I had some guidelines but no rubric. It was done as a school-wide competition with two tickets to Great Adventure to the last survivor.

Here is what I remember of the guidelines:
– Container must be no larger than 12x12x12 inches,
– I provide the egg,
– No parachutes.

Some creative entries:
– An egg in Jello molds in a Tupperware container,
– an egg in a balloon cushion,
– a bubble wrapped egg in a mailing tube,
– an egg in a big mustard jar,
– one of the winners was a box latticework made of foam board with an egg suspended in the middle by rubberbands and tape. It gently rolled as it fell and handled the five story garage with ease.

There were many other creative ideas. By not restricting the design, the students were free to come up with unique and clever designs.

If you come up with guidelines and a rubric, please send them to me, I’m happy to add them to the site.

I’ve done egg drop in high school physics, but it’s called the Economical Eggdrop: only photocoy paper, string, toothpicks and masking tape. Each thing is given a monetary value and the idea is to create the cheapest device to protect the egg. We just drop from 2 m, since the supplies are so flimsy, ie I stand on my desk.
Parachutes are allowed, but they end up being quite expensive, with the string.

i need help im doing an egg drop lab and it cant break can u give me some ideas

Sure Jasmine. Think about having a catch with an egg. What would you do to make sure it doesn’t break. You could use a pillow to cushion the blow. Also look at how an air bag in a car works. These things both spread out the force of impact across a longer period of time. You can create an airbag support system for your egg. What you want to avoid is having the egg against a hard surface. At impact, the egg will smack against the hard surface and probably crack. Think in terms of layers of cushions, like soft foam wrapped in bubble wrap and inside another layer, with everything fitting tightly in the outer container.

I think I’ve given you quite a bit, maybe even too much. Anyone want to add to this?

Try launching the egg in a rocket from estes like i did it works

i hav a physics project n i really need som help my physics teacher requires a container no bigger than 6″x4″ and the egg cannot break no matter wat u do to it esp since we hv a 2 story building at high school, it should be able to survive a kick.
plz help wat can i do???

sorry for the shortcuts i used in my spelling

I was assigned a similar project in Physics but it needs to be under 100g and creative. The req. eliminates cushioning of any sort because it wouldn’t be creative then and too much can make the structure over 100g. Any ideas on how I could make my project and the egg survive a 3-story fall?

Not to be unkind, but the purpose of the assignment is for you to be creative, not me. Look around, see what materials you have lying around and think about how those materials can be used to build your project.

Can you make a wing or a parachute type of device? Can you slow the decent or find a way to isolate the egg from the shock of the landing?

Science Olympiad combined this egg drop with a rocket launch (Egg-O-Naut). More eggs are broken in the launch phase because of the upwards force of the launch, which most students didn’t really design for…the landing was easier to survive since they could use a parachute. (Science Olympiad trial event for 2009).

i have a project in my physics class called the egg drop, we can only use natural materials or food products, the egg has been soaked in vinegar so it is shelless, any ideas?

my teacher is giving us an assignment with only using copy paper, toothpicks, masking tape, string and rubber bands. How should i do this?

I’m just starting this assignment and was thinking of using 2 container (one inside another) And filling the space in between them with water or something to take the majority of the impact could this work???

water wont really work coz it wont cushion the impact you know. remember research before you try it out. dont always rely on your instincts. I like the container idea though.. something dense to fill the space would good, like icing works perfectly. got a few good ideas

With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of plagorism
or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of exclusive
content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any techniques to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

Everything I post here was either shared with me or I created and I put it here with express purpose of sharing it with anyone who needs it. If I had copyright material, I wouldn’t post it.

On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 11:04 AM, Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

Helpful information. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and
I am surprised why this coincidence did not happened in advance!
I bookmarked it.

Hi! I know this is somewhat off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could find a captcha
plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding
one? Thanks a lot!

I don’t understand why you would want one. If you aren’t happy with people’s comments, you can hold them all until you moderate the comment.

On Sun, May 12, 2013 at 6:48 PM, Physics & Physical Science Demos, Labs, & Projects for High School Teachers

I think this is great!
Michael Cunha, retired physics teacher

Good Evening.
I find this egg drop project interesting. I am a practice teacher and I am handling physics classes. This week I will start discussing momentum, and I’m having a hard time thinking what activity to use related to momentum, fortunately i found your blog. Can you give me some ideas about this project? Please. 🙂 It will be a great help for me.Thank you!

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