- Egg drop competition
An experiment usually performed by
collegeor high schoolstudents enrolled in technical courses such as physicsand engineering. Competitors typically attempt to create a device that can keep a raw chickenegg intact when dropped from a height. Eggs are commonly dropped from the roof of a school building.__TOC__
In order to keep the competition safe and fair for all competitors, restrictions are usually placed on the nature of the containers used. Common restrictions are:
* Weight limits (commonly 100 grams)
* Size limits
* Materials limits (usually in the form of a list of prohibited materials, or in a specified list of allowable materials)
* Design limitations (limitation on drag devices, mechanical complexity etc.)
* Cost limits
Approaches to device design
The use of materials to aid in the absorption of shock is a common approach. It is possible to prevent the eggs from breaking by absorbing the egg's kinetic energy when the device hits the ground.
Another approach is a
helicoptertype device that attempts to slow the device by converting gravitational potential energyinto rotational energy, thus dissipating the energy as air drag before the device hits.
Sometimes, air resistance is used to cause the device to collide with the ground in a desired orientation (to "stabilize the device"). For example, a project might have a 'kite tail', fins, or a parachute. If the device can be oriented relative to the ground when it strikes it is only necessary to provide shock absorption in one direction. This can be advantageous if weight or other restrictions apply.
Bare egg drop
Another approach to the competition is to make a container that will keep a bare egg from breaking when the egg is dropped into the container. This competition is normally done indoors to avoid winds that can deflect the fall of the egg. For this competition, commonly used energy-absorbing materials are
peanut butter, sand, chocolate, styrofoam, and cotton.
A common variation on the Egg Drop competition is the Egg Hurl competition, where the containers are hurled by a device such as a
trebuchetor air cannon. This variation is often used by schools that lack tall structures from which to drop the containers. [ [http://staff.hartdistrict.org/glyle/projects/egg_hurl_project/index.htm Canyon High School Egg Hurl Competition] ] The Egg Hurl variation adds additional difficulties to the design of the container, since it is initially hurled at high speed and has to cope with horizontal as well as vertical velocities upon landing.
Often schools work together to make larger competitions that pit more students against each other. One of the larger regional Egg Drop Competitions is the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County Egg Drop Competition that takes place during Engineer's Week (late February) each year: [ [http://www.wsfceggdrop.com Forsyth County Egg Drop Competition] ]
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