Advanced Egg Drop Assignment - Create a Rocket & Vehicle for Success

• HeJind
In summary, the student is trying to meet the requirements of the assignment by using half of a 12 oz bottle and soft clay. They are also wondering if the force required to break the egg would be increased if the egg were submerged in a gelatin solution at the same density as the egg.

HeJind

Having a little trouble with this latest advanced egg drop assignment. The main assignment has two parts -

1. Create a rocket that can reach a minimum height of 120 ft
2. Create a vehicle that can land with an egg for a passenger, and not have it crack.

We also aren't allowed to use anything that would act as a parachute. The goal is to meet the objectives whilst using as little material as possible.

To meet the requirements, I added half of a 24oz bottle on top of the 2 liter bottle which the pressurized air & water will be in, to act both as the "nose" of the rocket and make it more aerodynamic, while also acting as a container for the egg. I then filled it with soft clay, with the theory being that upon impact, the clay will compress and let the egg decelerate slowly, keeping it from breaking.

Is this a good idea? I've done egg drops before but the size of our container is extremely limited (half a 12 oz bottle) and also never dropped an egg from as high as 120+ ft. Would just stuffing it with newspaper suffice?

Or foam ... or make a glider... or reinforce the shell (you only need to keep the shell intact, the insides can still get scrambled ;) )

You will need to experiment with different materials - see if you can work out how much padding you need from different heights.

Use the foam that is used for plants... I did an egg drop project and we used two blocks of that material, cut an egg shape into it, and filled the rest with peanut butter(so that the egg was snug against the foam. Let's just say 40ft up and throwing it straight down as hard as I could didn't do squat to the egg.

HeJind said:
I then filled it with soft clay, with the theory being that upon impact, the clay will compress and let the egg decelerate slowly, keeping it from breaking.

Is this a good idea? I've done egg drops before but the size of our container is extremely limited (half a 12 oz bottle) and also never dropped an egg from as high as 120+ ft. Would just stuffing it with newspaper suffice?

How fast will the egg be traveling at impact? How much force will cause it to break? I think answers to these two questions are the most important to success. For instance they will tell you how much your cushioning material must compress in order not to exceed the breaking force.

That said, I've often wondered if the force required to break the egg would be increased if the egg were submerged in a gelatin solution at the same density as the egg. Would the gelatin, not being compressible, apply an equal pressure on all sides of the egg? One thing that may destroy this idea is the small bubble inside the egg.

Last edited:
Air cell (larger end) up is probably a good idea.

That said, I've often wondered if the force required to break the egg would be increased if the egg were submerged in a gelatin solution at the same density as the egg.
I think it should work, especially with fresh eggs - or try to fill the air bubble with water.

Soak the egg in water overnight.
Incased in gelatin just provides a cushion... it is the Δp you have to spread out in time so the peak force does not exceed the breaking force for the shell. The other way is to reinforce the shell so its breaking force is higher... unless you care if the insides are scrambled.

Of course the gel also provides impedence matching between the egg and the medium... so better allows the shockwave from the bottom of the vessel hitting the ground to get through the shell...

Soak the egg in water overnight.
If the rules allow soaking, it would be better to soak in vinigar for a few days.

For that matter - paint the shell... no, have it encased in a snug outer coating of hardened steel :)

If you supply your own egg, there is a lot of scope for finessing ("cheating" is such an ugly word) things.

There are all sorts of things you can do with a rigid frame to channel the shockwave around the egg ... suspending the egg in an cradle inside such a frame may do well.

The bottom line is still to find out what sort of decelerations the egg can withstand without the shell breaking. Is it just a matter of keeping it from impacting hard surfaces?

Also - not allowed a parachute, presumably a glider would also be cheating, are you allowed vanes on the capsule so you can be reasonably sure a particular side hits first? Then you can build a shock-absorber into just that side.

1. What is an egg drop assignment?

An egg drop assignment is a science project or activity where participants design and build a contraption to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a specific height. It is a fun and challenging way to learn about physics, engineering, and problem-solving.

2. Why is it called an "egg drop"?

The name "egg drop" comes from the fact that the main goal of the assignment is to prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. It mimics the real-life scenario of dropping fragile objects from a height and the challenge of protecting them from damage.

3. What is the purpose of creating a rocket and vehicle for the egg drop assignment?

The purpose of creating a rocket and vehicle for the egg drop assignment is to add an extra level of challenge and excitement. By incorporating elements of aerodynamics and propulsion, participants can explore more complex concepts and techniques while designing their contraptions.

4. What are some important factors to consider when designing a rocket and vehicle for the egg drop assignment?

Some important factors to consider when designing a rocket and vehicle for the egg drop assignment include the weight and size of the egg, the materials used, the shape and structure of the contraption, and the impact of air resistance and gravity. It is also important to think about the method of propulsion and the landing mechanism.

5. How can I ensure success in my egg drop assignment?

To ensure success in your egg drop assignment, it is crucial to carefully plan and test your design before the final drop. Consider using trial runs with a similar object or a dummy egg to make adjustments and improvements. It is also helpful to research and learn about different strategies and techniques used by others. And most importantly, have fun and be creative!