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.
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? The excitement is tangible! This exploration is suitable for all ages. Younger children might need help wrapping the egg but will certainly love dropping it.
Engineering challenges are a great way to encourage collaboration, problem-solving and technical thinking. If your children love building, constructing and taking things apart, look up Engineering and Design and Technologies workshops in your area.
Article author: Heike Hendershot
National Training Manager
With an extensive background in education and a fearless passion for collaborative learning environments, Heike manages the development and implementation of workshop content and supports the team of training facilitators at Little Scientists.