Egg drop competition

Egg drop competition

An experiment usually performed by college or high school students enrolled in technical courses such as physics and engineering. Competitors typically attempt to create a device that can keep a raw chicken egg intact when dropped from a height. Eggs are commonly dropped from the roof of a school building.__TOC__

Common restrictions

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 helicopter type device that attempts to slow the device by converting gravitational potential energy into 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.

Egg

A common variation on the Egg Drop competition is the Egg Hurl competition, where the containers are hurled by a device such as a trebuchet or 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.

Regional competitions

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] ]

References


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