Over the October half-term holiday the Year 5 children were given a STEM Challenge for homework. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Egg Drop Challenge is a project that encourages the children to explore, design, and test their ideas in all these areas. It also gave the children (and hopefully parents) the opportunity to develop their problem solving and critical thinking skills alongside having lots of fun!
The children were given the task to design a carrier, from materials of their choice, to protect a raw egg dropped from a high fall – namely the top of the stairs in our reception area! They were also asked to record their ideas and reasons for their designs.
After constructing their own containers and testing them at home, back in school they spent some time examining and discussing all the other egg containers created. They then recorded their predictions on which container they thought would work. The children were very excited when they were finally ready to test their ideas.
Preparing to drop our containers!
There were a range of containers made from milk cartons, shoe boxes, plastic cups and sponge carriers. The children also modified their carriers by adding parachutes, foam interiors, straws, balloons and even marshmallow and popcorn cushions!
Some eggs did not make it through the drop challenge – and we were able to discuss the reasons for this. Some of the results surprised us, especially the egg that made it through the drop in a bag of cereal!
The children were able to discuss that many of the successful designs used sturdy containers to protect the egg from the initial shock of the drop, but they soon realised that the container alone was not enough to protect the egg and that it needed padding inside. Bubble wrap and shredded newspaper were found to be good.
The children also discussed that changing the way the egg dropped and landed was equally as important. Making a parachute for the container reduced the speed at which the egg dropped. The class learnt that since the egg was falling at a slower speed, the force of the impact was much less once it hit the ground.
All in all a very enjoyable project and afternoon of fun learning!