The egg drop competition is common and many people make all types of egg protection devices. I think it's great that there are so many variations of the, but some work more effectively than others. Today I will show you how to construct a simple, lightweight, and very effective protection device. This is one that I had built when I had egg drop competitions in the eight grade. I am very excited to show you so let's get started! (This idea was inspired by Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer, on a video for ideas for egg drop competitions: Mark Rober's Youtube Channel). The video is also embedded above.
You will need:
-3 or 4 Small drinking straws
-6 Jumbo straws
-1 Plastic garbage bag
-1 Large egg (for testing purposes)
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Step 1: Safety First!
Safety is always important when working on a project. That is why I'm adding this step. I recommend wrapping tape around the ends of each jumbo straw with tape to avoid cracking. During testing, I found that the ends of the straws would break and become sharp. It makes it dangerous to hold as it has the possibility to cut through skin. Also, in general, be aware to be careful around tools like scissors. Scissors are sharp (obviously) so just be cautious when working with them to avoid injury.
Step 2: Egg Holder
First, you need to create a container or unit to hold an egg, or else it'd crack if it's not fastened to something when it hits the ground. We will be creating this in the form of a pyramid where the egg can sit in. I am building this in proportion with a large egg. If you will be using a different sized egg, then the measurements will need to be altered slightly for the holder to hold the egg. First, create the base the base of the pyramid. Using the smaller and thinner drinking straws, cut three pieces of straw, each being 2 1/4 inches. Form the three pieces into a triangle shape and tape them them together. Next, cut 3 small straw pieces, each being 3 1/4 inches, and tape them to the base corners (in other words, tape each straw piece to the corners of the triangle) facing upwards. Tape each straw piece together at the top to create a pyramid. This pyramid will hold the egg. Test to see if it will hold the egg by (carefully) inserting it in between the straws. The egg should fit in semi-tightly. It should not be loose nor should it be too tight to the point where it will definitely crack the egg.
Step 3: Protection Device
This next part will build onto the egg holder. Get the jumbo straws and for each side on the pyramid egg holder, attach a jumbo straw on them. Place a jumbo straw next to a small straw piece and wrap a piece of tape around it (I recommend using 2 to 3 pieces of tape per straw). Once that's done, the pyramid should now look like it has "spikes" protruding from it. Make sure that the egg can still fit in there.
Step 4: Parachute!
The parachute does not have to be in any way "fancy." It does not have to be perfect so long as it creates a drag force. First, take a garbage bag and cut in in half. You will only use one half of it. Next, measure out 4 strands of thin string, each being 22 inches long. Near each corner of the plastic sheet, cut a small hole. Make sure that It's not too close nor to far from the corner. In each hole, tie a knot (I recommend double knotting it) so that the plastic is attached to the string. When that's done, pick up your parachute by the strings and wrap some of it around the top protruding straws from your egg holder and tape the string to it. Your egg drop protection device is now finished!
Step 5: Testing and Storage
Now that your Egg Drop Protection Device is finished, test it out first without an egg and drop it from a high place. If your device survives, try it now with an egg and see if it cracks. I guarantee that it won't crack. If it does, then it may need modifications. If the straws appear to be cracked, try to evaluate the drag force of the parachute. It may not be sufficient. If any part of the device starts falling apart, make sure to reinforce it with more adhesives or glue. If the egg cracks but nothing else on the device is broken, make sure that the egg holder is not too tight for the egg. For storage, wrap the string and plastic sheet around the top of the device and tuck the end of the parachute inside of the egg holder.