An eggcellent challenge
To this day, the egg challenge is one of my favourite engineering experiences. I love observing children, and adults alike, the moment the egg hits the ground. Did it survive?
I will never forget this day. I was 15 years old and spent the weekend with my local scouts’ group. When my group leader announced the egg challenge as our task for the afternoon, I would never have thought that this experience would have such a profound impact on my younger self. In retrospect, however, I am not at all surprised that this has become a strong memory from my teenage years. The main reason is rooted in my experiences at school. At the time, I did not feel very confident because I just didn’t seem to fit in and struggled to keep up with the academic standards. I guess dropping an egg from a balcony was exactly what I needed!
The goal of the egg challenge is straight forward: Each group receives a raw egg and different materials to protect the precious cargo from breaking when dropped from a predetermined height. After a few minutes, my group had developed a plan: we would wrap the egg in bubble wrap and attach a DIY parachute to slow down the fall. I remember this wonderful feeling of excitement and a sense of purpose. I was part of a group project and my ideas were valued, experiences I didn’t often had at school.