Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Egg Drop STEM Challenge


What is a STEM Challenge?


STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. A STEM Challenge is a project that encourages children to explore, design, and test in the areas of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. 


STEM activities are a great way to add hands on learning to your homeschool or classroom. STEM education helps develop problem solving and critical thinking skills, increases science literacy, and makes mathematics fun.



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The Egg Drop STEM Challenge:


The goal of this challenge is to design a contraption to keep an egg from cracking when dropped from a predetermined height like the top of the stairs or a low roof. 

There are two different ways you can do this challenge. You can do what we did and just let your kids have free range of supplies they can find around the house. Or you can give them a box of materials to work with. Some items you might include are:

Construction paper
Tape
Roll of toilet paper
Pipe cleaners
Sponges
Rubber bands
Box of kleenex

Or anything else you can come up with that your kids might be able to use.

When your kids are finished designing and building, test their projects. If it doesn't work, encourage them to go back to the drawing board and try something new.




A Look At My Daughter's Egg Drop Project:


Designing and building:

Like I mentioned before, I let my daughter have free range of any supplies she could find around the house for her egg drop project. This is what she came up with:


She stuffed a giant plastic Easter egg with an old scarf, leaving just enough room to nestle a real egg inside.


The plastic egg with the real egg inside, then gets nestled into a basket filled with newspaper for cushion. 


Then she designed a homemade paracute to tie to the top of the basket. This took a few tries. She experimented with several materials and shapes until she got one she thought would work. She settled on the bottom half of a black plastic garbage bag with very lightweight string attatched at 4 places evenly spread out around the bottom of the bag. 

The string kept ripping the bag once it had weight under it so we had to reinforce the holes with duct tape.

The test:

After several test drops and a few minor adjustments to the parachute she was ready to test it with a real egg.



It was a sucess! Her parachute opened perfectly and her egg survived the drop.








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8 comments:

  1. So fun! I loved doing this as a kid - thank you for sharing this resource!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! I never got to do this experiment asa kid but my daughter definitely enjoyed it.

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  2. Great idea! I loved how you gave her free range of her choosing! Great experiment.

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    1. Thanks! I try to give her a lot of freedom in creating and building.

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  3. I LOVE this!! As an engineer, I encourage and appreciate parents who inspire imagination in their children and challenge them to come up with creative solutions - and if it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board and try again! With technology being such an easy go-to for children to entertain themselves, creative hands on activities like this are so so important!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! Engineering projects are always a big hit around here.

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  4. Such a fun summer activity idea!

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