The Egg Drop Experiment
Keeping with tradition, this January the students in grades 7 and 8 were tasked with creating a structure that protects a raw egg from breaking after a 25-foot drop onto a concrete sidewalk.
This STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Math – assignment fosters creativity and experimentation. Students design a device not exceeding 9 inches in any direction, made from any materials students can obtain. Construction of these structures happens at home. But they are tested at school.
On “Egg Drop Day,” students are given a raw egg. They then place the egg inside of their device. Then the protected egg is dropped from the roof of the Junior High building. First day success rates are usually around 50%, but this year’s 7th grade success rate soared to 89%. That is the highest ever. Usually, after 2-4 attempts, all students are successful.
So why does Mr. Ritterskamp get up on the roof each year and drop eggs off of it? Because students need to be challenged to not only memorize scientific facts and mathematical equations but also to apply that knowledge to engineer a product. This type of practical activity is a stepping-stone for children as they climb toward possible future careers in areas requiring STEM skills.
For more on what STEM is and why STEM education is necessary check out STEM Integration in K-12 Education video on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlPJ48simtE