Egg Drop Eggstravaganza
By Brett F.


The purpose of this experiment, Egg Drop Eggstravaganza, was to help understand momentum, inertia in motion. This was done by constructing a case made out of different materials that would be able to contain an egg and keep it from breaking when dropped off the football bleachers on the grass. Everyone made their own egg case using soft materials to increase the time of impact, therefore decreasing the force of impact so their egg would not break. Because all the egg cases weighed about the same, the velocity and change in momentum were similar when they exerted an impulse, or force, when hitting the ground.


Description of My Egg Case

My egg case was a shoebox with paper towel padding surrounded on the inside. In the center was a container taped down that was made from cutting a water bottle in half. The container also had cotton attached to it to keep the egg secure, but still able to withstand an impulse being exerted on it. The egg itself was wrapped in an additional layer of paper towel. To make sure the egg case would not open or fall apart when dropped, masking tape was used to wrap around the case so it would stay closed.


What is Momentum?

Momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. In other words, the momentum of an object depends on either the object’s mass or velocity. If a bicycle and car are moving with the same velocity, the car has more momentum because of its larger mass making it harder to stop.


Why Did All of the Egg Cases Have the Same Momentum When They Hit the Ground?

All of the egg cases had the same momentum when hitting the ground because they had the same velocity, which was due to them having the same weight.

What is Impulse?

Impulse is the product of force and time interval during which force acts. In other words, an Impulse equals change in momentum. If an object’s mass or velocity is decreased or increased, then this causes an impulse. If a rolling skateboard is carrying 5 kg. of weights on it and the weights are removed, this causes an impulse, as it is taking away from the object’s mass.


Why Did All of The Egg Cases Have the Same Impulse?

All the egg cases had the same impulse because they had the same velocity when hitting the ground. This was because they were dropped from the same height and had about the same mass which caused gravity to act on each case equally.


If All the Egg Cases Had The Same Change in Momentum, What Varied With Each Egg Case? Why?

The time of impact and force of impact were two things that varied with each egg case. This was because of the design and material each egg case had was different from each other. Some cases were made out of paper and rubber bands, while others were plastic or liquids.



Did My Egg Break?

NO!! My egg did not break because the soft material used inside the egg case was able to increase the time of impact, therefore decreasing the force of impact. What this means is the cotton and paper towels inside my egg case acted as an airbag to the egg when it hit the ground, just like it would to a passenger in an automobile.



When looking back at this experiment, my egg case was obviously well designed enough to withstand the impulse of the grass it fell on. However, if the case were to have landed on a harder surface like cement, then the outcome could have been different. In this instance, some adjustments probably would have been made to the case. For example, more padding could have been used on the inside of the box besides paper towels. This would have assured more protection for the egg when hitting the ground. The container that held the egg inside the box could have been taped down more as another adjustment. Because when opening my case, it was noticed that the container did not stay taped down enough. That way the egg would stay more stable. Aside from that, I also learned many new and important things from performing this experiment. I now have a better idea of why cars are equipped with many airbags, as well as why it is also important to always wear your seatbelt when in a car. Another thing I learned was that momentum is used all over the world everyday.



Real World Situations

When looking at how momentum was explained during the Egg Drop Eggstravaganza, it might make you think about other real life situations in which momentum takes place. Everyday, there are numerous amounts of events taking place that involve momentum. Some are simple as simple as bending your knees when jumping on the ground, while others can be serious and sometimes depend on a person's life. Thanks to engineers and scientists, momentum is now explained better and used a lot more in the real world.


1. Springs: When mountain bikers race down steep hills, they have springs around their tires that act as shock absorbers in case they run over a rock or make a jump. That way the time of impact of the bike hitting the ground is increased, therefore decreasing the force of impact. If mountain bikes were not equipped these springs, then this could be a serious danger for mountian bikers, as they could easily fall off or flip over their bike.

2. Bubble Wrap/Styrofoam: When packages are shipped across the world, bubble wrap or Styrofoam is used to surround the object inside the package so it won’t break in case it were dropped or rolled around. That way the object is cushioned, which increases the time of impact and decreases the force of impact, and prevents it from being destroyed in case it was fragile.

3. Sporting Equipment: Today when sporting equipment is designed, more padding and softer material is used to keep the athlete safer. Different sports include football, hockey, and baseball, ECT. That way when an athlete is hit by another person or object, the soft padding increases the time of impact which takes away from the force of impact. Many sports injuries have been avoided thanks to the safe design of most sporting equipment.

4. Airbags: When a car gets into a collision, airbags are used to protect the passengers instead of the hard surroundings inside the car. The airbags are important because the soft protection they provide keep the passenger inside a car safer. If a person were to be traveling at a high speed in a car and all of the sudden found them self in a crash, the increase of time and decrease of impact the airbag would provide would give them a higher chance for surviving.