Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Invention Convention: Egg Drop!

What a fun day!  We decided to host the event even though it was raining!  We met under the pavilion and everyone built their containers and then we decided to DROP them!  The only obstacle, a rather NASTY WOMAN who apparently is in charge of renting the pavilion for EVENTS who seemed to think she OWNED the space.  Didn't matter to us and we had some great humor at her expense, she is lucky none of the kids dropped their containers on her head, OK, you all know my kids are really too well mannered to do such a thing, but I know they were thinking it!
What:  Invention Convention Egg Drop
When:  Wednesday September 21, 2011 10 AM to 12 PM
Where:  Alms Park let's plan to meet at the playground just past the pavilion, there are about 3 or 4 picnic tables right next to the playground that we can use to build the containers at.
Who:  Homeschoolers of all ages.  Children 12 and under will be expected to have a parent/responsible adult on premises with them during activities, Teens 13 and up may be dropped off.
RSVP:  Laura

What will be provided:  packing peanuts, saran wrap, yarn, markers, newspaper
What each family needs to bring: 
*2 eggs per child (more if you think you child will want to repeat the experiment)
*items to build your container (small boxes, straws,popsicle sticks, bubble wrap, toilet paper, cotton, foil, other cushioning materials, etc)
*items to build parachute if desired (plastic grocery bag, garbage bag, fabric, etc)
*lunch or snacks/drinks for your family if you plan to hang out after the egg drop—we plan to stay and play.

The object of this project is to design/build a container that will stop an egg from breaking when it is dropped.  Your design must not include changing the egg in any way (no tape on the egg, no nail polish on the egg, no hollow eggs).

Here is some useful physics:  Just before the egg's package hits the ground, the egg has some speed (depending on the height from which it is dropped.)  You want the egg to change its speed to zero as slowly as possible.  That is, you don't want it to go from 20 miles per hour to zero miles per hour in 1/100 second.  You want it to slow down gradually.  (This is because it takes more force to suddenly change the speed of something than to gradually change its speed, and we want the least amount of force possible exerted on the egg.)  Maybe you know the equation   F = ma where "F" is force, "m" is mass, and "a" is acceleration.

Now, here is a second idea:  We would rather the egg not bounce back up from the padding material.  That is because if it bounces back up, changes its speed from downward, to zero, to upward.  (This is further acceleration.)

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