First-graders have ‘eggs-tra’ fun with science project

By William P. Thompson

Steiner Elementary students spent Thursday morning watching eggs being tossed to the ground from a cherry picker about 90 feet up in the air. Unanimously, the students agreed it was a fun way to learn elementary physics.

Thursday’s “Egg Drop” was the fifth annual for the school. Teacher Diane Maez said it was a good way to get parents involved with their children’s learning because students needed parental help in designing special containers that would keep an egg from breaking after hitting the ground from a 90-foot drop.

”There was lots of parent involvement,” Maez said. “The students had a couple of weeks to work on it. Some of the students shared their ideas with their classmates and they were discussing the methods they were going to use to keep the eggs from breaking.”

A number of children attached parachutes of varying materials to their egg containers. The containers varied from plastic whipped topping tubs to cardboard boxes and even a plastic two-liter soda pop bottle. SIx-year-old Stephanie Blair used a trash bag as a parachute for her plastic bowl-shaped container. She added “fluffy stuff” inside the container to greater ensure her egg’s survivability.

Blair’s egg survived the 90-foot drop.
“Me and my dad worked on it,” Blair said. “My dad tested it out. He had a big truck and he got on it and dropped the container off (with the egg inside) and it floated. The egg didn’t break.”

Rebekah Coddington made her container out of two pieces of Styrofoam taped together with a hollowed-out section in the middle for the egg. Her egg survived and so did Alicia Cedillo’s egg. Cedillo used a simple design with the egg nestled amidst foam inside a box.

As the cherry picker rose to the sky with each batch of egg containers, the school’s playground was filled with children shouting, “Higher!, higher! higher!” Some children covered their eyes when they saw their containers fall to the ground. Most were delighted to find their eggs intact upon impact, although there was plenty of eggy goo on the ground attesting to experiments gone awry.

Emilia Oviedo, 7, looked on with anxiety as her basket design container plummeted to the ground. After retrieving her basket and pulling off all the tape, she found an unbroken egg inside.

“It makes me feel good,” she said with a smile.
Oviedo’s mother, Annette Oviedo, said Emilia had come a long way during the course of her project.

“At first she didn’t even know what the word “container” meant,” she said.