Our first week back at Busch, we started off with an egg drop challenge. The goal was to build a device that would protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of around 9 feet. Before we actually got to building, we required each group to have a written brainstorm and design plan. Many groups found that drawing out their design allowed them to see potential flaws and help them best use the limited amount of materials given to them. Once every group had a game plan, we got to building. We facilitated discussion each group to make sure they were heading in the right direction and every student was contributing. After every group was happy with their device, we went outside to test. From the initial height of 9 feet, 3 out of the 4 devices worked. The students wanted more of a challenge, so we then threw the devices up to make it harder. Miraculously, one egg managed to survive! After all the fun, we went back in to recap what we learned and how it tied into engineering. We emphasized that a lot of times, engineers aren’t successful the first time and need to do some troubleshooting and redesigning. The students all had great ideas about how they would redesign their project after seeing it’s strengths and weaknesses. We then asked the students what they would like to build given the chance. We got a wide range of creative ideas from rocket ships to a purse that can play music! Listening to the students’ feedback gave us some great ideas for future projects, which we hope can incorporate some of the themes the students are interested in.
Mitali Avadhani, Site Director