Egg Drop Challenge in Primary

School News July 21, 2020
Egg Drop Challenge in Primary

In the summer term, the science curriculum in Grade 5, investigates forces and related properties. What better way to learn about this unit than, applying everything they are taught and putting it to the test? This is the third year that Wycombe Abbey School have hosted the Egg Drop Challenge as part of our Primary School Science Programme and the excitement and competitiveness seems to build each year.

After learning about the force of gravity and giving examples of how it affects motion and other forces such as buoyancy, friction, applied force and air resistance, grade 5 pupils were given the challenge to design a protection unit for a raw egg that was to be dropped from a height of approximately 5 meters. Pupils were fully engaged in this task which is designed to stimulate interest and help pupils to recognize the role of forces in their daily lives but also to connect the scientific concepts with everyday experiences.

All pupils were issued with the same materials and the rules were simple. The egg was not allowed to be taped or covered and they could not add any other materials. So with a sheet of newspaper, 10 meters of string, a small roll of sellotape and a pack of straws they set about creating their designs. The classroom was a hive of activity and their English and science vocabulary was deepened during the planning period and the various decisions that they needed to make with their partners. It was great to see them considering the effects of air resistance on gravity but also how they could distribute the energy on impact when the egg hit the floor.

On the day of The Drop, some children made final tweaks and adjustments to their protection units and the eggs were handed out, to be placed into their creations and dropped from the school bridge. The atmosphere was electric in the hope that the eggs would land safely. 

Unfortunately, not all the eggs survived but I can report that this year saw the highest number of eggs land without cracking.

Susie Yu, Tina Chen, Tina Yang and Amy You's designs were highly successful and efficient and allowed their eggs to fall to the ground unbroken. The children that were not successful protecting their egg on this journey, may have felt disappointed but they had plenty of learning points to reflect upon, so all was not lost. Other successes amongst Grade 5 were Ben Zhang and Sophia Van Welden. Both pupil's designs were so effective that they each managed to land not one but two eggs safely, which was very impressive!

Our pupils love taking part in the egg drop challenge and it is evident that they learn better when they are active and fully engaged in a goal. With so many successes this year, I will plan to increase the complexity of this task for the pupils in Grade 5 next year!