We've all heard of the classic egg-drop engineering challenge, so here's a twist: crash test race cars! The students in my extracurricular engineering class love this project because of its open-ended nature and thrilling process.
More footage of crash tests
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Skewers with 1/8" diameter
- Milkshake straws
- Craft Sticks
- Wood cubes*
- Cubes with drilled holes (optional)
- Rubber bands
- Small sample cups
- Hot glue
- Cardboard to protect work surface
- Plastic eggs
- Hard boiled eggs
- Downhill ramp
The presence of obviously soft or resilient materials will often hinder creative ideas.
Plastic Easter eggs will help students gauge how they will need to accommodate a real egg without risk of accident.
Folding tables make excellent ramps.
Fast, easy, and edible hard boiled eggs:
Place as many eggs as will fit in a pot of cold water. Make sure the eggs are covered with at least one inch of water. As soon as the water begins to boil, turn off the heat and cover. Wait 8 minutes. Place eggs directly from the pot back into the carton (most of the moisture will evaporate).
Step 2: Get them started!
Here's a short video on how I construct a set of wheels using a skewer for the axle and a straw for the bushing. Explain that hot glue does not adhere very well to straws, so masking tape is used to attach the first craft stick.