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Eggs on the fly

by Lisa Marsh

To scramble or not to scramble.

That was the question Friday as South Tahoe Middle School eighth-graders took part in the science experiment of the year – the egg drop.

“It’s fun watching the eggs splat on the ground,” Melissa Cook said.



Students were to design a container that would prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 40 feet. The container could be no more than 1,000 cubic centimeters, and had to be made from common household items. Allowable construction materials included plastic straws, Zip-loc bags, paper cups, rubber bands and flour.

“The purpose was to use all the science skills they’ve learned all year and to become engineers and apply it,” said teacher Alison Harris.



Harris got the idea during her first year of teaching. She heard of the experiment being done by college engineering students.

“We used to let them use anything they wanted,” she said. “We’ve had such creative containers since limiting the materials.”

The show was punctuated with cries of “ooh” and “ewwww.” Some contraptions floated softly on the wind, some dropped like rocks. The goo on the pavement was all that remained of unsuccessful attempts. When breakage was not apparent, judges cut open the containers to reveal if eggs were intact. For the students, the process was interesting, but the fun was seeing their handiwork in action.

“I learned when you test your egg and it doesn’t work, it gets all over the back yard,” said John Gochnauer.

“I learned it’s very difficult to save an egg and that it’s hard to be an engineer,” added Jeff Koeck.

“I like constructing things, the challenge of putting something together to see if it will work,” said Carrie Anderson.

An estimated 150 containers were tested, with 63 eggs surviving. Back to the drawing board.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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