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26 Egg-cellent Egg Drop Challenge Ideas

Teaching STEM one broken egg at a time.

egg drop examples

The egg drop may be the most versatile activity there is. It can be done in kindergarten to teach about gravity, in middle school to teach engineering, and in high school physics. (We’ve even done the egg drop in professional development as a team-building activity). These 26 egg drop ideas take the challenge far beyond basic.

1. Disaster egg drop

students standing to drop eggs during an egg drop challenge

Have students imagine that they are trying to deliver eggs to people who have been in a disaster. They must use contents from care packages to pack and try to deliver their eggs. The focus of this egg drop is on the change from potential to kinetic energy and how energy moves when it impacts the ground.

Try it: Care Package Egg Drop at Teach Engineering

2. Parachute egg drop

egg drop challenge with cups and coffee liner parachutes

Looking for tried-and-true ideas for the parachute egg drop method? Give students a variety of materials—straws, Popsicle sticks, paper, bags—and see who can make a parachute that helps the egg float instead of splat.

Try it: Egg Parachutes at JDaniels4mom.com

3. Humpty Dumpty drop

eggs for an egg drop in baggies with materials to protect them

First, decorate an egg like Humpty Dumpty (smiley face, overalls). Then, fill baggies with different materials like water beads, sand, pasta, and cotton balls. Drop Humpty in and see which material protects him the best.

Try it: Humpty Dumpty Drop at I Heart Crafty Things

4. Hot-air balloon egg drop

girl holding a basket attached to a balloon for an egg drop

Connect a “basket” to a balloon with yarn and see whether or not the balloon will float gently enough so the egg doesn’t break. You may try this in different types of weather to see what happens to the balloon and egg when it’s windy or not.

Try it: Gravity Drop at Science Sparks

5. Crash cart egg race

In this version of an egg drop, build a cart for an egg, then send each egg down a ramp or course to see if the cart will protect the egg.

6. Cereal egg drop


Another lesson in how energy gets absorbed. Place an egg in a can, and surround the can with a soft cereal, like puffed rice.

Try it: Cereal Egg Drop on Pinterest

7. Dodecahedron egg drop

a dodecahedron made from straws for an egg drop challenge

Create a dodecahedron out of straws, place an egg in the middle, and drop it. Will the straw structure protect the egg enough for it not to break? Bonus: Students learn about geometry and dodecahedrons.

Try it: Straw Egg Drop at Sciencing

8. Styrofoam cup egg drop

materials for a styrofoam egg drop challenge

Use Styrofoam cups to create a stack around the egg. Place a heavy rock in the bottom of the first cup (the rock should be heavier than the egg). Then, put six more cups on top, put the egg into the seventh cup, and cover the stack with the eighth. Tape the stack together and drop.

Try it: Styrofoam Egg Drop at Educational Insights

9. Rubber band suspension egg drop

Suspend an egg using rubber bands and pantyhose for protection. Will the egg bounce and wiggle or crack on impact?

10. Paper straws egg drop

egg drop challenge idea using only paper

Sometimes having limited materials brings out students’ creativity. Give students nothing but an egg, paper, and scissors, and see what they can come up with.

Try it: Paper Egg Drop at iGameMom

11. Pringles can egg drop

A Pringles can is the perfect size and shape to protect an egg. Use cushioning and pencils to hold the egg in place.

12. Sponge egg drop

an egg covered in a sponge and reinforced with straws and tape for an egg drop challenge idea

Cut a hole in the middle of a sponge and fit the egg into the hole. Then, use straws and tape to secure the egg and see if the sponge will soften the blow.

Try it: Sponge Egg Drop at Green Kid Crafts

13. Paper bag parachute

egg in a cup with a plastic bag parachute for an egg drop challenge

Looking for more ideas that incorporate parachutes in your egg drop challenge? Place the egg in a red Solo cup with some cushioning (shredded paper, cotton). Then, attach a plastic bag to the cup and launch it in a place where the wind can catch the bag.

Try it: Plastic Bag Parachute Egg Drop at There’s Just One Mommy

14. Toilet paper and duct tape egg drop

Tuck an egg into a roll of toilet paper, pack with cotton balls, and cover with duct tape. You could use this strategy to drop the egg, or roll it down an obstacle course.

15. Oobleck-wrapped egg challenge

For a mult-step approach, make oobleck and cover the egg in oobleck. Then, put the egg in a cup that includes a soft packing material (mini-marshmallows, cotton balls). Cover the top with plastic wrap or tape and get ready to drop.

16. Ship egg drop

egg drop project titles

Give students a collection of materials and challenge them to make ships to protect their eggs. Some materials:

  • Popsicle sticks or tongue depressors
  • Rubber bands
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Cotton balls
  • Sandwich bags

Try it: Ship Egg Drop at Cool Science Dad

17. Pool noodle egg drop

pool noodles protecting eggs for an egg drop

What can’t you do with pool noodles? Cut pool noodles into parts and use duct tape, rubber bands, and other materials to create soft, spongy pods for eggs.

Try it: Pool Noodle Egg Drop at Steam Powered Family

18. Toilet paper roll egg drop

egg drop project titles

Use toilet paper rolls as pillars to support and protect an egg, then use a sponge and rubber bands to hold it together. The big question with this egg drop is whether it will float down or crash.

Try it: Toilet Paper Egg Drop at Science Struck

19. Water bag egg drop

a bag of water with an egg in it for an egg drop idea

What happens if you put eggs in a bag full of water? Have students hypothesize whether the eggs will break based on how much water is in the bag.

Try it: Water Bag Egg Drop at Oregon State University

20. Reinforcement egg drop

egg in a box with a jar and rubber bands for an egg drop idea

Talk about what it means to reinforce an object, then provide students with different ways to reinforce an egg in boxes or jars (or jars and boxes).

Try it: Reinforcement Egg Drop at Living Digitally

21. Floam-covered egg

egg covered in floam for an egg drop idea

Cover an egg in floam and see if it provides enough cushioning to break the fall. If you don’t have floam, you can also try kinetic sand, play dough, or anything that will cover the egg and absorb the impact.

Try it: Floam Egg Drop at Momtastic

22. Peanut butter jar egg drop

peanut butter jar tied to a box with rubber bands

Tuck an egg in a peanut butter jar, pack it with tissues, and secure in a box.

Try it: Peanut Butter Jar Egg Drop at Momtastic

23. Balloon bomb egg drop

Surround the egg in balloons filled with beads to provide a softer landing.

24. Another balloon bomb

child holding an egg drop challenge, a foam surrounded by balloons

Hollow out a floral foam disc and tuck the egg inside. Then, add balloons to soften the landing.

Try it: Balloon Bomb Egg Drop at The Caffeinated Homeschoolista

25. Bungee egg drop

egg drop project titles

This activity isn’t an egg drop, per say. Students use rubber bands to create a bungee jump for an egg and predict how many rubbers bands they will need for the egg to drop a certain length (maybe six feet). For students who are well versed in the egg drop, this is a fun spin on the idea.

Try it: Bungee Egg Drop at Museum of Science and Industry

26. Backyard egg drop

egg drop made with sticks and twine

Looking for ideas to make the egg drop project more challenging? Ask students to find materials in nature—sticks, leaves, an abandoned bird’s nest—to create their egg drop structures.

Try it: Nature Egg Drop at Dream Big at Home

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Plus, check out 50 stem activities to help kids think outside the box ..

The egg drop is a must-do experiment. Here are all the egg drop ideas you need to challenge students from hypothesis to the big drop.

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How to Build an Egg Drop Project

Last Updated: January 21, 2022

wikiHow is a “wiki,” similar to Wikipedia, which means that many of our articles are co-written by multiple authors. To create this article, 13 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. This article has been viewed 27,865 times.

This project can be used by science students of various ages to complete a science fair project. These directions can be used to carry out directions and record results in a scientific fashion with accuracy to successfully complete an egg drop project.

Step 1 Collect all of the materials listed below that you will need for the project.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Buy a trifold presentation board Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Use color pictures Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Create a digital graph online to compare all three trials of the experiment Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Before dropping the experiment make sure that no one is walking in the area you will drop the egg.*Wear gloves while handling the egg, so in case egg cracks you are not exposed to the raw egg contents. *Do not conduct the experiment if you are allergic to eggs. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 5

Things You'll Need

  • Masking Tape
  • 1 bag of cotton balls
  • 2 boxes of facial tissue
  • 1 carton of 6 eggs
  • Presentation board

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egg drop project titles

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Get your payload safely to the surface! Design and build a lander that protects a raw egg that’s dropped from up high.

  • Raw egg, or other payload that needs protecting
  • Container, like a cardboard tube, cup, box, etc.
  • External protection materials, like balloons, rubber bands, craft sticks, straws, etc.
  • Internal padding, like fabric, packing materials, paper, etc. 
  • Pen or pencil

Design a landing craft that protects your egg passenger when it's dropped from up high. Use the engineering design cycle for this experiment: design your landing craft, test it to see if it works, change your design to make it better, and re-test to get new results. 

  • Collect your materials. You’ll need a container, some internal padding and external protection to safely land your craft. There's no "right" set of materials, so be creative and try lots of things to see what works best!
  • Draw your design ideas on paper. What does your lander look like? What materials will you use? Try using just one container, one type of internal padding and one type of external padding at first.
  • Build your landing device and put your egg inside. Test it out by dropping your device from up high. If the egg doesn’t crack, your design is a success! If the egg cracks, make changes to your design and re-test it.

What's happening?

Gravity is a force of attraction — it pulls on a mass, which is how much “stuff” something is made of. Earth’s gravity pulls on you and keeps you on the ground; it also holds the atmosphere and the moon in place. When you drop your landing craft, gravity pulls it to the ground.

The internal padding that surrounds your egg cushions the payload inside the container, like airbags in a car that protect passengers in an accident. The external protection on the outside of the container protects the egg by absorbing the impact felt when the landing craft hits the ground.

For a little less mess, use a hard-boiled egg (you’ll still see the cracks). You can also cover the landing surface with a garbage bag, or put the raw egg in a sealed plastic bag before putting it in the landing craft.

Once you’re successful, try dropping the egg from a higher height or increasing your payload to two eggs. Try landing your craft on different types of surfaces like grass, pavement or water. How does the surface affect your landing? How might this change your vehicle design?

Have a friendly competition: who can get their egg to the surface the fastest? The slowest? From the farthest distance? With the fewest bounces?

Recommended reading

Aerospace Engineering and the Principles of Flight by Anne Rooney

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

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Awesome Egg Drop Ideas

Take the egg drop challenge for an awesome  STEM project for young kids and older ones too! Your imagination is the limit with these cleverly styled egg drop designs as you investigate what makes for the best shock absorber for dropping an egg.  Read on to find out how the egg drop challenge works and what are the best materials for an egg drop. We have tons more STEM activities for you to try!

egg drop ideas for kids to try

Take the Egg Drop Challenge

Create your own egg drop designs to protect your egg from breaking when it is dropped from a height. 

Egg drop challenges are super cool and make for terrific STEM activities! I have been waiting to do a classic egg drop project for some time with my son but felt like he was too young.

The goal of the egg drop challenge is to drop your egg from a height without it breaking when it hits the ground.

Most egg drop projects use many loose materials, design making, and tinkering that my son isn’t ready for yet. I thought we could expand on it by using materials in our kitchen to protect the eggs including ziptop bags to control the mess.

What else can you do with eggs? Watch the video!

Grab the FREE Printable Egg Drop Worksheets!

egg drop project titles

What are the Best Materials for an Egg Drop?

We have two versions of this egg drop challenge below, one for older kids and one for younger kids. Do you need real eggs? Usually, I would say yes, but given the circumstances, how about candy-filled plastic eggs ? If you don’t want to waste food for any reason, don’t! Find a workaround instead.

Egg Drop Ideas for Older Kids

Older kiddos will love coming up with ideas to protect the egg in an egg drop. Certainly, egg drop designs can be more involved the older a kid gets making this a great activity to try each year. Some materials they may want to use…

  • Packaging materials
  • Old t-shirts or rags
  • Recycling container goodies
  • And so much more!

Here’s a past year’s winner in the egg drop challenge! It even included a plastic bag parachute!

egg drop project titles

Egg Drop Ideas for Younger Kids

You will need eggs and plastic ziptop bags to contain the mess! How many is up to you. We had 7 bags left, so we came up with six items from around the kitchen to fill the bags and protect the eggs and one with nothing.

I tried to pick items that weren’t too wasteful, and we had a few expired and unused items in the pantry.  Some materials you could use to protect the egg…

  • paper towels
  • dry cereal {we used very old wheat puffs}

Egg Drop Challenge Set Up Egg Zip Locks Bags Cereal Ice Water Paper Cups

Best Egg Drop Design Ideas

Here are 10 simple egg drop design ideas for kids to try.

TIP: Tape and rubber bands are great to have on hand for securing constructions.

1. Parachute Design

Attach a parachute made from a plastic bag or thin fabric to slow down the descent of the egg. Experiment with different parachute sizes and shapes.

Materials: Plastic bags, fabric scraps, tissue paper.

2. Cup and String Contraption

Suspend the egg inside a cup using strings or rubber bands. The cup absorbs some of the impact, and the strings provide additional support.

Materials: Paper cups, rubber bands, string or yarn.

3. Bubble Wrap Encasement

Wrap the egg in several layers of bubble wrap to provide cushioning and protection. Secure the bubble wrap with tape.

Materials: Bubble wrap, packing peanuts, tissue paper.

4. Straw Structure

Create a protective structure using straws. Arrange the straws to form a cage around the egg, leaving enough space for the egg to be cradled safely.

Materials: Plastic or paper straws.

5. Balloon Cushioning

Inflate a balloon and tape it securely around the egg. The balloon acts as a cushion during the fall.

Materials: Regular balloons.

6. Cotton Ball Padding

Surround the egg with a thick layer of cotton balls or cotton padding. This can absorb some of the impact forces upon landing.

Materials: Cotton balls, cotton pads, sponge, foam padding.

7. Foam Container

Place the egg inside a small foam container, such as a foam cup or takeout container. The foam absorbs and disperses the impact energy.

Materials: Plastic containers, foam cups, paper cups, small boxes.

8. Paper Mache Shell

Create a protective shell for the egg using paper mache. The hardened shell provides a protective barrier against impact.

Materials: Newspapers, flour, water.

9. Cardboard Tube Construction

Use cardboard tubes (toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls) to create a protective structure around the egg. Arrange the tubes to form a cradle for the egg.

Materials: Cardboard sheets, cardboard tubes.

10. Feathered Landing

Attach feathers to the egg to slow down its descent. The feathers create drag, reducing the speed at which the egg falls.

Materials: Bird feathers or craft feathers.

Remember to encourage students to test and refine their designs. They can vary the drop height or make adjustments to improve the performance of their egg drop contraptions. Additionally, discussing the science behind each design choice can add to the learning experience.

Make It An Egg Drop Experiment

Want to turn this fun science activity into a science fair project? Then, you will want to check out these helpful resources.

  • Easy Science Fair Projects
  • Science Project Tips From A Teacher
  • Science Fair Board Ideas

Here are some ideas to remember to change the variables for an egg drop science fair project.

Standard Egg Drop : Start with the classic challenge where students must design a contraption to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height. They can experiment with different materials and shapes for their protective devices.

Materials Investigation : Have students investigate the properties of different materials. Ask them to design a container for the egg using various materials like paper, cardboard, plastic, and foam. Then, compare which material offers the best protection.

Shape Experiment : Explore the impact of the shape of the container on the egg’s safety. Students can create different shapes, such as cubes, spheres, or pyramids, and see which one works best.

Parachute Design : Challenge students to design a parachute system that slows down the egg’s descent. This adds an aerodynamics element to the project.

Weight Constraint : Introduce the maximum weight constraint for the entire contraption. This requires students to think about the trade-off between protection and weight.

Altitude Variations : Change the height from which the egg is dropped. Ask students to adjust their designs for different drop heights and explain how they made these adjustments.

Add These STEM Questions for Reflection

These STEM questions for reflection are perfect to use with older kiddos to talk about how the project went and what they might do differently next time around. Use these questions for reflection with your kids after they have completed the STEM challenge to encourage discussion of results and critical thinking .

—> Get the printable STEM questions list here .

  • What were some of the challenges you discovered along the way?
  • What worked well and what did not work well?
  • What part of your model or prototype do you really like? Explain why.
  • What part of your model or prototype needs improvement? Explain why.
  • What other materials would you like to use if you could do this challenge again?
  • What would you do differently next time?
  • What parts of your model or prototype are similar to the real world version?

Check Our Our Egg Drop Experiment

The first egg drop challenge had to be the egg in the zip-top bag. We had to ensure the bag wasn’t protecting the egg, right? Crash and splat went that egg drop. Since it’s already in a bag, I might as well squish it around!

Egg Drop Ideas

We continued with the egg drop challenge, testing each bag and then examining the contents. This egg drop project had some clear winners!


Obviously, the egg did not fair well with no protection. It also didn’t make it through an egg drop in water or ice. Note: We tried the water twice! Once with 8 cups and once with 4 cups.

Egg Drop Project with Water Ice Nothing


However, the egg drop did make it through the crazy cup contraption. We were all impressed. It also made it through a drop in a bag of cereal. The egg, however, did not fare well in the paper towels. He didn’t think the towels were thick enough!

It would be a great egg drop project idea to explore: how to drop an egg without breaking it using paper!

Egg Drop Activity Egg Science Cup Cereal Paper Towels

We concluded the egg drop challenge, with a bag of flour mix. {This was very old gluten-free mix we will never use}. The flour was “soft” apparently making for great protection against the fall.

egg drop idea with flour

More Egg Science Activities

Get the eggs ready for more simple science projects to explore chemistry, biology, and physics!

  • Do Eggs Float?
  • Make A Bouncy Egg
  • Test the strength of eggshells
  • Get an egg into a bottle

egg drop project titles

More Favorite STEM Challenges

Straw Boats Challenge – Design a boat made from nothing but straws and tape, and see how many items it can hold before it sinks.

How Strong Is An Egg – Test much weight one egg can hold before it breaks.

Strong Spaghetti – Get out the pasta and test our your spaghetti bridge designs. Which one will hold the most weight?

Paper Bridges – Similar to our strong spaghettti challenge. Design a paper bridge with folded paper. Which one will hold the most coins?

Paper Chain STEM Challenge – One of the simplest STEM challenges ever!

Spaghetti Marshmallow Tower – Build the tallest spaghetti tower that can hold the weight of a jumbo marshmallow.

Strong Paper – Experiment with folding paper in different ways to test its strength, and learn about what shapes make the strongest structures.

Marshmallow Toothpick Tower – Build the tallest tower using only marshmallows and toothpicks.

Penny Boat Challenge – Design a simple tin foil boat, and see how many pennies it can hold before it sinks.

Gumdrop B ridge – Build a bridge from gumdrops and toothpicks and see how much weight it can hold.

Cup Tower Challenge – Make the tallest tower you can with 100 paper cups.

Paper Clip Challenge – Grab a bunch of paper clips and make a chain. Are paper clips strong enough to hold weight?

egg drop project titles

Printable STEM Pack for Kids

80+ Doable Engineering Projects in one convenient pack!

  • Full instructions with sample images
  • Activity-specific instruction sheets
  • Data Collection Sheets
  • Questions for Reflection
  • Architecture Building Cards: Try the tallest tower challenge
  • Bridge Building Cards: Explore different types of bridges to build your own.
  • Paper Chain STEM Challenge: Who can make the longest chain? Great icebreaker or quick challenge!
  • 3 Little Pigs Architectural Pack: Design a house that won’t blow away!
  • Great marshmallow challenge: A classic challenge kids love!
  • Real-world STEM challenge lesson but don’t know where to start? Our easy-to-follow template shows the steps!
  • What’s the difference between a scientist and an engineer?
  • Crossword and word search with engineering vocabulary.
  • Engineering vocabulary cards
  • Design a one-of-a-kind invention and write about it with this 5-page activity!

egg drop project titles

you worry too much about what people will think do your experiments and be happy who cares if you wasted a couple eggs. it was good clean fun with your kids.

Did any of the bags burst open? I’m interesting in leading this for a library program and need to figure out where we should drop the bags.

There was no catastrophic bag opening. I would suggest making sure the air is out of the bag first. You could also drop it into a plastic bin. Also go with quality zip top bags if you are worried. Have fun with it!

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~ Projects to Try Now! ~

egg drop project titles


The Ultimate Egg Drop Engineering Project

Categories Engineering Activities

When I was a kid, we had a book about this egg drop engineering project , and ever since then, I have wanted to try it. We live on the third floor, so we have quite a long drop from our balcony, which is perfect for this experiment.

If you don’t live in an apartment or have a second story, you might be able to test your eggs by tossing them off your roof. The egg drop challenge is one of our favorite engineering activities for kids!

We’ve also tried a turkey egg drop that was tons of fun!

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

How to Do the Egg Drop Engineering Project

The egg drop engineering challenge is one of our favorite engineering activities!

The goal of this project is to create a container that will safely deposit a raw egg onto the ground when it is dropped from something high.

Egg Drop STEM Challenge Ideas

Let kids be as creative in their designs as they want.  You might want to include some design challenges like they must use a cardboard box, their design must fly, or they have to use sponges.

You could also require that the designs be a certain size, such as under 10 inches.

Make your egg drop have a theme, like in our turkey Egg Drop Project with Popsicle Sticks .

Another fun twist is to try dropping the eggs from different heights. The egg padding that withstands the most tumbling is the winner!

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

The Science Behind the Egg Drop Challenge

I love the egg drop engineering project because it involves creativity mixed with a bit of physics.

The force of the fall and the impact breaks the egg. But with enough design adaptations, you can prevent an egg from breaking at almost any speed!

There are probably hundreds of designs that will keep the egg safe.

With a group of children, it would be fun to see what differing designs could be successful in keeping the eggs from breaking.

The more types of designs tested the better!

What You Need for Egg Drop Designs

You’ll need these supplies for the egg drop engineering challenge.

free science lesson plans

  • Raw eggs (buy some cheap ones so you can make multiple attempts)
  • Various containers and padding
  • We used bubble wrap, cotton balls, plastic trash bags, plastic food containers, string, tape, plastic bags, and egg crates

How to Set Up an Egg Drop Engineering Project

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

Follow these steps to make your own egg drop STEM challenge!

Idea 1: How to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped with straws

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

In this version, I challenged the kids to create a cage for their egg out of straws.

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

It was a pretty good design!

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! This egg drop engineering challenge gives several ideas for the egg drop project, including a hot air balloon egg drop. It's a super fun STEM activity and engineering challenge for kids! #stemactivities #stem #stemed #engineering #engineeringactivities #kidsactivities

Even though we only dropped it from the second story, I bet the design would have held up from even higher up.

Idea 2: How to prevent an egg from breaking when dropped

Monkey thought she could create a little nest for the egg like in a hot air balloon. She used the trash bag as the balloon and placed the egg in a plastic ice cream dish.

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! Part of the 31 days fo STEM activities for kids series.

She padded the bottom of the egg, but not the sides.

When we dropped the egg, it fell onto its side and exploded.

Idea 3: Balloon egg drop design

Monkey expanded on the hot air balloon design, but this time, she made the container holding the egg larger.

She padded the egg in several layers of padding, including a plastic bag blown up to create an air pocket. She taped the container to the trash bag balloon.

Learn the basics of engineering with the egg drop engineering project! Part of the 31 days fo STEM activities for kids series.

When we dropped this package, it still fell pretty heavily (I’m not sure the balloon part was necessary), but the padding prevented the egg from breaking.

If you do the egg drop engineering project, share your results with us! We would love to see your creations!

elementary stem challenge cards

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egg drop project titles

egg drop project titles

Egg Drop Project Ideas That Really Work

By Kelly Ladd Sanchez

What is the egg drop project?

If you have young kids and haven’t heard of the egg drop project yet, you definitely will in the next few years. Kids ranging from elementary school through high school age are being assigned a science ( STEM ) project, where they will have to use their ingenuity to design a package out of everyday items that will keep an egg from breaking when dropped from ten feet in the air. (Of course, some teachers, especially for older kids, may have different requirements for the assignment.)

The idea of the of the egg drop project is to use as few materials as possible to make the packaging strong enough to withstand the fall. Some teachers may also place a time limit and weight limit on the project.

My parents live on the seventh floor of a condo. Over the summer, my son Kai spent a week with them. The egg drop challenge was one of the many projects he and his grandpa did together. They made their contraption using a grocery bag parachute and mini box filled with lots of cotton balls for padding. It didn’t crack! Kai dropped it over the railing so many times.

Here are some of the items and materials that can be used in the egg drop project:

  • Masking tape
  • Toilet paper
  • Plastic bags

Looking to get some help brainstorming ideas for the challenge? Look no further. Here are a few egg drop project ideas that really work, even from extreme heights. Check them out in the slideshow.

More Activities for Kids:

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  • 15 Best Paper Plate Crafts for Kids
  • 15 Affordable DIY Rock Projects for Kids

Egg Drop Challenge Ideas That Work

Gentle touch down.

Gentle Touch Down

Using balloons for a soft touch down is a smart idea. This student even fills a balloon with glass craft gems , which help guide the contraption down to the ground. Pure genius! Get the project details . Photo credit: My Little Homestead

Peanut Butter Jar Success

Peanut Butter Jar Success

The fourth grader who created this project had even more rules to her project. She wasn’t allowed to use parachutes, balloons, bubble wrap, or Styrofoam. So she lined the inside of an empty peanut butter jar with foam squares and placed the egg inside. She then suspended the jar in a box using rubber bands .  Get the project details. Photo credit: Living Digitally

Preschool Egg Drop Ideas

Preschool Egg Drop Ideas

Who says this experiment is only for school aged kids? Get your preschooler’s creativity revved up with some creative ideas. Our favorite experiment: Wrapping the egg in store-bought Floam and then placing it inside a shoebox filled with crinkled paper . This project is sure to get your little ones excited about science. Photo credit: Parent Savvy

Balloon Bomb

Balloon Bomb

Using hallowed out floral foam and balloons, your egg is sure to be safe. The foam helps protect the eggs, while the balloons give the package some air resistance. Bombs away! Get the project details. Photo credit: The Caffeinated Homeschoolista

Creativity Counts

Creativity Counts

When it comes to protecting the egg, you’ve got to be creative. This family even used cloth diaper inserts. Use things you have around the house to cushion the fall! Make a parachute or balloon from a trash bag to help soften the blow. Check out the video to see how it really does work. Get the project details. Photo credit: Steamsational

Record Your Results

Record Your Results

We love these ideas mostly because of how the family recorded all of the data. The kids recorded predictions as well as the results for each of their many experiments. They figured out that packing paper, multi-wrapped bubble wrap, and a cardboard box with packing material was the best egg protection. Score! Photo credit: Parent Teach Play

Epic Fails and Epic Wins

Epic Fails and Epic Wins

Looking for some creative ideas to help your child’s egg drop challenge to be a success? Check out these ideas—some worked (like placing an egg in a toilet paper roll with the tube taken out); some, unfortunately, did not (like placing an egg in a bag full of marshmallows ). You win some, you lose some.  Get the project details. Photo credit: Homeschool Creations

#1 YouTube Video

#1 YouTube Video

With 27 million views, Mark Rober’s "Egg Drop Project" video is by far the most popular one on YouTube. It shows five different design ideas. Beware: Since this is the number one egg drop video, many other kids in your class may use similar designs. Get the project details. Photo credit: Mark Rober

Egg Drop Soup

Egg Drop Soup

Here’s an inventive idea that worked the first round but may need some extra protection if you plan on using a lot of force. Hollow out a sea sponge and place your egg inside. Then add extra cotton for more cushion and place it in a cute Chinese take-out container . Fingers crossed your egg doesn't turn into egg drop soup. Get the project details. Photo credit: Follow Greg

Try, Try, and Try Again

Try, Try, and Try Again

Sometimes in science, failing is just as important as accomplishments because it helps you understand the big question: WHY? Check out this idea as something not to do and most importantly find out why it didn’t work. Get the project details. Photo credit: Feels Like Home

Bombs Away!

Bombs Away!

There are always some failures before there are successes! That’s exactly what happened to these two projects, which used a parachute made from a coffee filter and a grocery bag. These kids had to make a few adjustments to their designs before they worked. Get the project details. Photo credit: Lemon Lime Adventures

No Break Egg

No Break Egg

Cover a raw egg with tissue paper and bubble wrap . Then tape it together until it's secure. (Use colorful duct tape to give the project extra pizazz.) Get the project details. Photo credit: Kids Activities

Simple Egg Drop Success

Simple Egg Drop Success

Here’s an egg drop experiment video perfect for younger elementary school students. Simply stuff a box with packing peanuts , stick an egg in the middle, and let it drop. Easy peasy and totally doable. Get the project details. Photo credit: Planning Playtime

Science Is Fun

Science Is Fun

Here are some fun ideas (only one of which worked) that some older kids experimented with. Their winning idea: placing an egg inside of a hallowed out grapefruit. (We don’t recommend climbing on top of the roof, though.) Get the project details. Photo credit: BullsFan7777777

Survived a Twenty-Foot Drop

Survived a Twenty-Foot Drop

Here’s a design that withstood a twenty-foot drop. This ingenious plan has a space made specifically for the egg in a cardboard box stuffed with paper towels. Straws and rubber bands are wrapped around the box for added support. Creativity counts! Get the project details. Photo credit: MyGamingJourney_Skye

Kelly Ladd Sanchez

Kelly Ladd Sanchez, a former magazine editor and writer, now works as a professional craft stylist and paper artist out of her home studio in Orlando, Florida. Kelly is always creating something whimsical, bright, and colorful, with easy-to-follow instructions. Looking for more creative and fun DIY and craft projects to try yourself? Check out Kelly's blog, handmadebykelly.com  and her paper art site . When she’s not covered in little shreds of paper, she can be found having fun and hanging out with her son and wonderful husband. Follow her on Facebook , Instagram , Twitter  and Pinterest. 

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STEAM Powered Family

Egg Drop Project

Can You Drop an Egg without Breaking It? The egg drop challenge is a classic but it never ceases to amaze the kids, and I am always amazed with their ingenuity! With STEM we are always working to build creativity, problem solving skills, curiosity, and a passion for experimentation and learning. The Egg Drop Project is the perfect Summer STEM project for developing all of those areas. So let’s dig into this wildly popular activity.

Egg Drop Project Ideas

What you will discover in this article!

Egg Drop Project Designs and Ideas

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With an egg drop project it always seems like the contraptions that you’re sure will fail, somehow keep that egg perfectly safe. Then the ones that seem indestructible, end up with egg all over! What makes a good egg drop experiment in my mind is a little bit of direction and a lot of freedom. Kids will copy just about anything you show them, but given the freedom to problem solve on their own is always a joy to watch.

I highly recommend doing this project outside or somewhere that allows for easy clean up. Dropped eggs can really splatter everywhere! You may also want to avoid this activity on really hot, sunny days, to avoid the splattered raw egg cooking before you can clean it up. If you want to try cooking some eggs on those hot days, check out our Solar Oven Project .

Egg Drop Project Supplies

What Do We Need?

Raw Eggs (and lots of them!)

Plastic Easter Eggs (optional but great for the planning and prep work)

Building Materials , this is where you want to raid your tinker kits , recycling bins, cupboards and really encourage kids to get creative! Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Cut up Pool Noodles
  • Cardboard Tubes
  • Cardboard boxes (smaller ones, like shoe boxes or tissue boxes)
  • Plastic containers (like yogurt containers)
  • Packing Peanuts or other packing materials
  • Rubberbands
  • Plastic Cups
  • Zip Top Bags
  • Craft Sticks
  • Cotton Balls
  • Old shirts or pieces of fabric

You may also need:

Tape (clear tape, duct tape) Glue (school glue, glue sticks, glue gun) Scissors Hobby knife Markers

Inquiry Questions for Students

Start with some questions and a conversation to get your kids thinking like scientists and STEMists. Also, don’t be afraid to have kids use the Scientific Method to reinforce learning this powerful approach to experimentation.

Here are some questions and conversation prompts for you.

What happens when you drop an egg? This is a great time to talk about potential and kinetic energy.

What will happen if I drop an egg on the floor? If you’re feeling brave you could even drop an egg and let them see the mess and how fragile the shell is!

What causes the egg to break when it hits the ground?

What might we be able to do to prevent an egg from breaking? How can we protect it?

Could you build a contraption that would protect an egg? What would that look like?

What are some important things that you should consider when building?

You could also explore the parts of the egg and challenge kids to make Bouncy Eggs using chemistry . This could be a fun experiment to do, while doing the egg drop project. The result is an egg with no shell that bounces. A super cool experiment to do with the Egg Drop.

Bouncy rubber egg in vinegar experiment

Science Vocabulary

This is a perfect opportunity to talk about some science vocabulary and the physics behind the egg drop!

Potential Energy: The energy an object may have based on its size and position.

Kinetic Energy: The energy of motion.

Gravity: The force that pulls objects to earth.

Velocity: How fast an object moves as it falls.

Momentum: the way an object will speed up as it is falling and continue until it meets an outside force – like the ground.

Collision: When two objects run into one another causing a change in energy and momentum.

Newton’s 3rd Law of Motion: Action & Reaction: For every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. If an object (egg) exerts a force on another object (the ground), the ground also exerts an equal and opposite force on the egg. For more projects on Newton’s Laws check out Balloon Rocket Physics or our Pinball Machine Project .

Egg Drop Project Step 1 – Design

I like to have students draw out their designs – making note of what they think is important to protect the egg. I let them look at the materials we have to work with so they have some direction. Some things to take into consideration are how can we slow the fall of the egg once it is released and how might we be able to protect the egg once it hits the ground. Once they have their design they need to bring me a materials list of what they need to build their design.

A simple egg drop design using pool noodles

Egg Drop Project Step 2 – Build

Students are given a plastic egg for measuring purposes and the materials that they requested. I give them a set amount of time to build. It is good to stress here that they need to be able to remove their plastic egg and add an actual egg before the drop. The build process will inevitably present issues that the students will need to work with and adapt. This is all part of the process and encourages students to problem solve as they go.

Egg Drop Project Step 1 – Test

This is the fun part – I had students drop their eggs over a 2nd story railing. (With supervision at the top and bottom!) Sometimes you will hear a crack, but other times there is a lot of anticipation to see the results when you reveal the inside of the egg drop designs.

Student Dropping an Egg in an Egg Drop Project at School

This part is always exciting! It’s a great time to ask students some questions. Do they predict the egg survived or not? How did the fall or the landing influence your prediction?

Then gather round and check the eggs!

Egg Drop Fail is a Chance to Learn and Try Again

It’s always funny to me how this turns out – the one contraption this time that I was sure would fail was by far the best egg drop design this year. This particular student had no interest in the suggestions of his classmates and simply wrapped the egg in pieces of pool noodle and rubber bands. The student didn’t really listen and hurled the egg over the railing rather than dropping it – I was sure we would all be covered with egg yolk and surprisingly his contraption just bounced and the egg was perfectly fine. While the student who made a meticulous soft cocoon of cotton balls and had a parachute to slow her fall ended up with a broken egg.

If you would really like to check out an amazing egg drop experiment that might not go the way you would think – check out the Egg Drop project using Oobleck – it’s a really cool out of the box way to try this challenge!

Oobleck Egg Drop Project

Egg Drop Final Step: Revise and Retest

I really enjoy leaving time to revise and retest designs whenever possible. It really helps encourage a growth mindset in the students – it’s the definite power of yet!

Have a blast with this classic STEM challenge with your students!

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Awesome Egg Experiments for Kids

March 19, 2023 By Emma Vanstone 12 Comments

Easter is just around the corner, so I’ve put together a collection of egg experiments perfect for this time of year. Eggs are great for experiments as they are inexpensive, easily available and very versatile. We try not to waste food at Science Sparks, but for most of these ideas, you can still eat the actual egg. Do be careful if you have a child with allergies, though.

Don’t forget to check out my ever-growing selection of printable science experiments too!

Image of an egg shell bridge, egg drop STEM challenge and egg with no shell

Egg Experiments for Kids

Egg drop experiment.

How about a Humpty Dumpty themed egg drop experiment ? We used sealable sandwich bags filled with different materials, but another way to do this one is to make a parachute or create a container for the egg.

Egg drop experiment. Image shows 3 boiled eggs with faces and 3 sandwich bags filled with different materials.

Unbreakable Egg Experiment

Find out how to make an unbreakable egg . All you need is an egg and some cling film. We’re sure you’ll be surprised at how strong an egg actually is!

Image shows an egg with cling film wrapped around it and a child squeezing the egg!

Egg Experiments with Vinegar

How to make an egg shell disappear ! This is like magic! Watch the shell disappear before your eyes. Just be careful not to break the membrane like we did.

Once you’ve dissolved the shell with vinegar, you can make the egg bounce ! We recommend doing this one in a container in case the egg breaks!

Naked Egg - egg with no shell in a child's hand

How to shrink an egg

Make an egg shrink and then expand, but first, you’ll have to remove the shell to expose the delicate membrane. This is a brilliant visual way to learn about osmosis !

Two eggs with no shell in egg cups. One has been made to expand by placing in water and the other has shrink after being left in a concentrated sugar solution.

How strong is an eggshell?

How Strong is an egg shell ? How many books can you balance on an eggshell? What else could you balance on top of the eggs?

STEM Challenge - eggshell bridge. Image shows a bridge built from half egg shells.

Egg in a Bottle

Find out how to force an egg into a small bottle or jar. Watch as the egg drops into the jar like magic. This clever activity works because of differences in air pressure.

Egg in a bottle experiment. Image shows a boiled egg with the shell removed sitting on the top of a glass jar.

Meringue Experiments

Find out what happens when you whisk egg white and why. This one is a bit messy but lots of fun and very yummy!

Meringue - made from eggs served with raspberries

Once you’ve perfected your meringue skills, have a go at making a Baked Alaska. This clever dessert allows you to put ice cream in the oven without it melting .

Image is taken from Snackable Science

Image of a baked alaska dessert for an egg themed science experiment

Make an Egg Float

Do you know how to make an egg float ? We don’t mean by letting it go bad!

egg floating in a jar of salt water

Eggs as Teeth

Did you know eggs are great for learning about teeth as the shell is made from a similar material? Try soaking it in vinegar, coffee or tea to discover what happens.

Materials for staining eggs - vinegar, coffee and coke,

Egg Vehicles

Create a vehicle to protect an egg in a collision . You could use LEGO, K’Nex or any other materials you like.

crash test eggs for a STEM Challenge. image shows a K'nex car with a boiled egg passenger

Egg Experiments eBook

My new egg experiments eBook contains 5 brilliant egg investigations that are easy to follow and also great fun.

egg experiments eBook cover

More egg experiments

Find out how to tell if an egg is boiled or not!

Can you think of any more Egg Experiments for us?

If you’ve got an egg decorating competition coming up, these easy decorated eggs might be helpful too!

Awesome Egg Experiments - 10 fantastic #kitchenscienceexperiments for kids

Last Updated on February 3, 2024 by Emma Vanstone

Safety Notice

Science Sparks ( Wild Sparks Enterprises Ltd ) are not liable for the actions of activity of any person who uses the information in this resource or in any of the suggested further resources. Science Sparks assume no liability with regard to injuries or damage to property that may occur as a result of using the information and carrying out the practical activities contained in this resource or in any of the suggested further resources.

These activities are designed to be carried out by children working with a parent, guardian or other appropriate adult. The adult involved is fully responsible for ensuring that the activities are carried out safely.

Reader Interactions

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February 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm

The egg is only recognizable from its shape without the shell there. Some brilliant ideas here.

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February 24, 2013 at 1:16 pm

We used to fry an egg in class to show the children the change of state from liquid to solid with the addition of heat. Can you believe that most of them had never seen a egg frying so it was a real novelty (they were 11!!).

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February 24, 2013 at 2:39 pm

These look like fun egg experiments. We have done a few of them but not all. Thanks for sharing.

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February 27, 2013 at 6:17 am

Some of these I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, but some are new to me…great ideas all! Pinning to my Preschool Science board to try with my kiddo soon!

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February 28, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Ok, these ideas are just TOO COOL!!! I can’t wait to try these with my own kiddos! Thanks so much for sharing over at Sun Scholars. I am featuring this post at this week’s party… YIPEE!!! AND… it’s been pinned to my Best Of board on Pinterest, and sharing on Facebook later this morning. Love what you are doing here at Science Sparks! xoxoxo

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March 05, 2013 at 4:34 am

We just did one of the egg-periments! We did the bioled egg on a bottle and it got sucked right in! Thanks for sharing. we cant wait to do more! -Reshama

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March 10, 2013 at 9:40 pm

One of my favorite experiments as a kid was dropping an egg from a high height and trying to not make it break.

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April 23, 2013 at 3:56 am

Thanks for sharing!! I was not aware of all the neat things you can do with an egg… I know my students will love these!!

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March 02, 2015 at 9:41 pm

How does changing water temperature affect the buoyancy of an egg?

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August 29, 2018 at 8:32 am

After learning a little bit about what’s inside that egg

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March 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm

A la vez, estos signos tienden a tener avatares emocionales constantes, aunque, en el caso de Escorpio, es el que mejor los sabe esconder.

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November 01, 2015 at 11:50 pm

We did cells with jello please do this project now and coment below thank-you

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Buggy and Buddy

Meaningful Activities for Learning & Creating

March 2, 2016 By Chelsey

STEM for Kids: Egg Drop Project

Have you tried the egg drop project yet? This was our 4th year in a row taking part this super fun STEM activity for kids! Check out how to do it with your children or students, and be sure to print out our two free printable recording sheets.

Follow our STEM and STEAM Activities for Kids Pinterest board!

Egg Drop Project 2016: Fun STEM activity for kids- Design an egg contraption to protect a raw egg! (with 2 free printables!)

The kids always look forward to the annual egg drop project ! If you’re unfamiliar with this popular STEM activity, the challenge is for kids to design a contraption using various materials (usually recyclables) to protect a raw egg from a high fall.

Be sure to check out our previous egg drop challenges for tips and ideas:

  • Egg Drop Challenge 2018
  • Egg Drop Challenge 2016
  • Egg Drop Challenge 2015
  • Egg Drop Challenge 2014
  • Egg Drop Challenge 2013

Although this activity is most popular in high school physics classes, we’ve adapted it for elementary aged children and have done it with my husband’s 4th grade class for years in a row. (You can even do it with preschool aged children!)

Egg Drop Project 2016: Fun STEM activity for kids- Design an egg contraption to protect a raw egg! (with 2 free printables!)

Egg Drop Project

Kids were instructed to bring in materials from home for their egg contraptions. This year we changed the rules up a bit and eliminated a few materials the kids usually use in their egg contraptions- no boxes and no battery powered items.

After collecting materials over a few days, students were able to work independently, in pairs or in small groups to design a contraption to protect their raw egg.

They recored their designs on our free printable recording sheet .

egg drop challenge free printable planning sheet for kids

After constructing their contraptions, the class examined all the other egg containers created.

Egg Drop Project 2016: Fun STEM activity for kids- Design an egg contraption to protect a raw egg! (with 2 free printables!)

They recorded their predictions on which contraptions would work using our free printable egg drop challenge recording sheet .

egg drop project- free prediction recording sheet for elementary students

They then took their contraptions outside to test them out. My husband climbed onto the school roof with all the egg containers and dropped them one at at time. Since this is the highest we’ve done the egg drop challenge compared to years past, there were quite a few broken eggs this time!

Egg Drop Project 2016: Fun STEM activity for kids- Design an egg contraption to protect a raw egg! (with 2 free printables!)

The students discussed why certain contraptions did or did not work.

Be sure to check out STEAM Kids book and ebook for even more creative STEM and STEAM ideas!

egg drop challenge for kids

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The Physics of Egg Drop Science Projects

The Physics of Egg Drop Science Projects

The Physical Factors Affecting Parachutes

The egg drop experiment – a science project where students craft ways to keep an egg from breaking when dropped from a certain height – is a highlight in most physics classes. Read on to learn more about the basic, yet fundamental concepts the experiment demonstrates.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

The pull of gravity, free fall, air resistance and terminal velocity are all key physics concepts you'll learn about in the egg drop science project.

The Pull of Gravity

Gravity is the force that exists between the earth and objects near it. There are two criteria when defining gravity:

​ Force of gravity ​: Represented by ​ F grav ​, this is the force that acts upon objects on or near the earth’s surface. The force of gravity can be calculated by the equation:

​ Acceleration of gravity ​: Represented by ​ g ​, this is the acceleration experienced by an object when gravity is the only force applied to it. All objects on or near the earth’s surface have the same value for the acceleration of gravity (​ g ​): 9.8 m/s/s (meters per second per second).

A free-falling object is one that's falling under the sole influence of the force of gravity. There are two characteristics that define an object in free fall:

  • The object does not encounter air resistance.
  • All free-falling objects fall to the earth at a rate of 9.8 m/s/s.

Air Resistance

Air resistance occurs when the leading surface of a falling object collides with air molecules. The two most common factors that can change air resistance are the object's speed and its cross-sectional area; an increase in either increases air resistance.

When an object in free fall meets air resistance, the equation is:

where ​ F net ​ is the difference between the force of gravity and the force of the air resistance.

Terminal Velocity

Terminal velocity is the steady speed of an object freely falling through a gas or a liquid. As an object falls and meets an increase in air resistance, eventually the air resistance balances the force of gravity. Therefore, the force of air resistance is proportional to speed; air resistance increases as the speed of the object increases until terminal velocity is reached.

Egg drop experiments make learning about physics fun, approachable and stimulating. Definitely enjoy, but don't forget to apply these important fundamentals while crafting your project.

Related Articles

How to calculate terminal velocity, how to find velocity from mass & height, what happens to air resistance as objects move faster, how to calculate a change in momentum, test your knowledge on middle school science, how to drop an egg without breaking it by using straws..., how to calculate how long it takes an object to fall, background information on egg drop experiments, how to calculate height & velocity, what happens as an object falls toward earth, how to calculate distance angle, how to calculate pendulum force, easy one day middle school science fair projects, what does the condensation process require, how to use a bushnell reflector telescope, how to find acceleration in g's, how to explain gravity to a child, how to make an egg drop box, difference between velocity time graph & position time....

  • Stanford University: Gravity
  • Oregon State University: Falling Body With Air Resistance
  • NASA: Terminal Velocity

About the Author

Jane Gingrich has more than 10 years of experience in health care, including work as a pharmacy technician and in clinical research. She is also a certified paralegal. She has a bachelor’s degree in biology and an associate degree in natural sciences, both from Reinhardt College in Georgia.

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90 Minutes | 3rd – 12th Grades


Egg drop devices simulate parachutes and other similar features seen in nature, such as the helicopter seeds that are dropped from some trees. The process of slowing descent to resist the force of gravity has been used in a number of instances in history, and continues to be an important science – especially currently around emergency aid and transportation of goods to inaccessible areas.

Lesson Plan: Lesson Plan – Egg Drop

Handouts: Egg Drop Handout Reverse Egg Drop Handout Egg Drop Checklist

Presentation: Egg Drop + Brain Injuries Egg Drop Prezi Reverse Egg Drop Prezi

egg drop project titles

Egg Drop Project

Students creating a housing to protect their egg

This is the classic egg drop experiment. Students try to build a structure that will prevent a raw egg from breaking when dropped from a significant height. They should think about creating a design that would reduce the amount of energy transferred from potential to kinetic energy on the egg shell. Some ways to do this would be to decrease the final speed of the egg using air resistance, increasing the time of the collision using some sort of cushion, transferring the energy into something else, or whatever else they can think of!

Each group of students gets the following:

  • 2 small paper cups
  • 1 sq ft of cellophane
  • 4 rubberbands
  • 4 popsickle sticks
  • 2 ft of tape
  • 1 egg (not provided)

Subjects Covered

  • Energy Conservation

Provided by requester

  • One egg for each student group
  • Floor covering (Ex: Newspaper, Tarp)

Provided by us

  • Small paper cups
  • Rubberbands
  • Popsickle sticks

Physics Behind the Demo

The Egg hitting the ground is a collision between the Earth and the Egg. When collisions occur, two properties of the colliding bodies are changed and/or transferred: their Energy and Momentum . This change and transfer is mediated by one or many forces . If the force is too strong, it can cause the shell of the egg to crack and break.

Momentum Transfer and Impulse (no Calculus)

Starting with the definition of Force a and knowing that acceleration is just the change in velocity over the change in time

$$ \textbf{F}=ma=m\cdot{\frac{\Delta v}{\Delta t}} $$

If we move the $\Large \Delta t $ to the left side of the equation we can see how Force is related to momentum

$$ \textbf{F} \cdot{\Delta t}=m \cdot{\Delta v}$$

This means that the Force multiplied by the change in time, or duration of a collision, is equal to the mass multiplied by the change in velocity. Momentum (p) is defined as the mass multiplied by the velocity so the right side is the change in momentum. This change in momentum is the Impulse ( J )

$$ \textbf{J}= \textbf{F} \cdot{\Delta t}=\Delta \textbf{p}$$

a: In this case we are actually talking about the average force, but to keep things simple we will just call it the force.

Momemtum Transfer and Impulse (Calculus)

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Egg Drop Experiment with Data

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We can take an egg drop further by adding sensor data collection. Normally an egg drop is a “pass or fail” activity, and collecting data is difficult. With an sensor in place of the egg for trial runs, students can refine their designs with real life data.

In the real world, engineers test systems extensively before running with a valuable payload. For example cars are tested for safety in the lab long before customers drive them. This lesson plan shows how to add engineering data collection to a standard egg drop activity with a PocketLab sensor.

NGSS Alignment

By adding data collection, an egg drop can be turned into a rich engineering design activity for the following NGSS standards: MS-ETS1-3 Engineering Design and MS-ETS1-4 Engineering Design .

Conduct a standard egg drop experiment, making sure:

  • Students are working together in lab groups. 
  • There is a fixed height ‘drop zone’, each lab group has a set of materials to use, and students understand the general objective.
  • For an extra challenge, assign costs to the materials, and have the students track and minimize cost of their design.

Here is how to transform the experiment to include data collection and engineering design (student worksheet is below):

  • Have students draw a free body diagram and discuss the direction and magnitude of the forces on the egg.
  • Before building anything, students should hypothesize which design factors are important, and draw at least two or three potential design concepts. Students should use force, velocity, time, and acceleration to explain why they think their designs should achieve the expected goal.
  • Have students start building and testing designs. To test a design, attach a PocketLab, turn on the 3 axis accelerometer (detailed instructions below), record the peak force for 3 to 5 trials, calculate the average peak acceleration, range or standard deviation, and calculate average velocity. 
  • Students should compare their design concepts with the data they've collected and explain why the data matches their expected results or not.
  • When lab groups come up with their final design, it’s time to put in the egg and see if the egg can survive the fall.

Egg Drop Experiment - Student Worksheet

You will be given a golden, million dollar egg, and you must build a capsule for the egg that will allow you to drop it from a great height without breaking! If the egg doesn’t break, you will be able to keep it and sell it for a million dollars. If however it breaks, at best you get a free omelet.

Fortunately you will be able to build and test your egg capsule with sensors before dropping the actual egg from the sky. 

The PocketLab sensor you will use for this is the accelerometer. An accelerometer measures instantaneous acceleration in meters per second squared, or g’s. You can design, build, and test several capsules for your egg with the accelerometer and calculate the forces your egg will experience.Then when you have your final and best design, you can put the egg in and be confident you won’t break it.

To be successful, you will have to:

  • Collect and organize data from experimental runs to determine the effectiveness of alternate designs.
  • Analyze quantitative data and identify relationships within the data, including relationships between the design solutions.
  • Make claims supported by data for which characteristics of each design best meet the given criteria.
  • Use data to identify the best features in each design that can be compiled into a new improved design.

Draw a free body diagram and write a prediction to answer the following questions:  What are all the possible factors affecting the forces on the egg when it lands?  What are design changes that can reduce the force on the egg?  Which design changes will likely have the biggest impact?

Measuring Acceleration and Average Velocity with PocketLab

Follow the steps below to set up your PocketLab: 

  • Go to the PocketLab Web App (in a Chrome browser) using the following address: www.thepocketlab.com/app or open up the PocketLab mobile app. 
  • For a 'getting started' video on how to use the PocketLab Web App go here .
  • Click on the "Change Graph" icon. Click "Acceleration".
  • Click on the “Change Data Rate” icon and select the maximum data points per second (50 points/sec for PocketLab Voyager, and 20 points/sec for PocketLab One).

Practice recording data:

  • When ready to drop your capsule, press record to start recording acceleration data.
  • Maximum acceleration is read as the highest point on the graph when the capsule strikes the ground.
  • Note the accelerometer measures in 3 dimensions, X, Y, and Z. The acceleration in each direction is relevant because that is what the egg is experiencing. These all need to be measured and recorded in your trials.
  • Average velocity is calculated by observing the time in seconds (the x axis) the capsule is released and subtracting it from the time the capsule hits the ground, divided by the drop height. Observe the recorded acceleration graph, and you should be able to notice the release time and the impact time - subtract the release time from the record time for total time.

Egg Drop Data Collection

Testing Design Ideas

Each design should be tested in an experimental run to collect data and see if you are matching your design goals:

  • Brainstorm with your lab group on some different design ideas, draw a rough sketch, and explain how each design works using the terms force, mass, velocity, acceleration, and time. 

Pick your first design, document it on the worksheet, and get ready to test.

Testing Your Design:

  • With the PocketLab accelerometer ready to record, place it in your capsule and record 5 trials for each run, and calculate the average maximum acceleration, and range or standard deviation.

Final Test Run and Conclusions:

After running tests with sensor data, you should have an idea of the optimal design for your capsule. Also you probably have an idea how engineers felt leading up to the first manned Apollo mission. There were years of test flights before they were confident enough to launch a human into space ( wikipedia article ). 

Here are some questions to think about before you put your million dollar egg into a capsule and drop it:

  • Were you able to get better data by refining your design? Was it easy? Hard?
  • What design change led to the biggest changes in your data?
  • How does your data compare to other lab groups? Was there a design from another group that impressed you? Why? What was their thought process?
  • Did your trials have a lot of variability? How does that make you feel about your confidence that your design will work the first time?

There is not much you can do now except test your final design. Put your egg in the capsule, and attach the PocketLab as close to the egg as possible so that you can record the actual acceleration that the egg experiences.

Egg Drop Experiment with Data

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Egg Drop Physics


Introduction: Egg Drop Physics

Egg Drop Physics

The egg drop experiment can have many variations.  This is the one I like best.  I have used it for a number of years, made some adjustments along the way, and think it's finally time to share with you.   I use this project as a way to make the mathematics part of physics relevant to my 7th graders.  They are calculating mass, speed, velocity, momentum, force, and acceleration and having fun at the same time.  They have the freedom to design their own project but are constrained by the materials provided and the time allowed.   The materials are cheap and easy to acquire which is a recurring theme on my teacher budget (materials are on the next page). I usually give students about 45 minutes of pure build time.  This does not include the time taken to hand out materials.  I usually hand out the materials and give them some planning time... then start the clock.  Because my school has 45 minute periods, we can't do it all in one class period.  I force them to build and test in two. I have an area to drop that is 5.3 meters.  You will want to find an area that is at least 4.  The higher the better! *The new national science standards, if your state chooses to adopt them, will place greater emphasis on the process and application of topics than on recall.  This is a simple, yet effective way to asses what they know and are able to do (and aligns perfectly with the motion and forces standards).

Step 1: Title, Introduction, Materials, and Methods

Title, Introduction, Materials, and Methods

Title: How does the design of an egg contraption protect an egg from the combined forces acting on it when subjected to a drop of 5.3 meters? Introduction: a. Background - In class, the topics of speed, velocity, resultant velocity, acceleration, and momentum were explained and mathematical calculations were performed. b. Purpose - This experiment is designed to review these forces by completing an egg drop lab. c. Hypothesis - If an egg is dropped from a height of 5.3 meters and the egg shell must not crack, then the egg must be well protected from outside forces acting on it. d. Prediction - Egg contraptions with the most speed and therefore the most velocity, acceleration, momentum, and force, will have the greatest chance of breaking. Procedure a. Materials: Teacher should supply a balance, a good place to test the contraption, a way to measure the height of the drop in meters, and a stopwatch. 1 egg (I don't always hand these out right away) 5 popsicle sticks 5 straws (I like bendy straws but it doesn't matter) 5 rubber bands 2 sheets of paper 100 cm of string 100 cm of masking tape b. Methods - 1st: Create a detailed drawing of what you plan to build. 2nd:Gather materials 3rd: Build a contraption that can protect an egg from a fall of 5.3 meters 4th: Find the mass of the contraption (with the egg) 5th: Test the contraption (calculate time of fall with stopwatch) 6th: Calculate speed, velocity, acceleration, force, and momentum 7th: Analyze results 8th: Create a detailed drawing of what you actually tested.

Step 2: A Fun Twist

A Fun Twist

After students start to build, I give them the option of trading materials with the "store". Here is a short skit of what an exchange might sound like... Student : What can I get for 3 popsicle sticks? Teacher : What do you need? Student : Another sheet of paper. Teacher : That will cost you 4 popsicle sticks and a straw. Student : Let me go ask my lab partner... You drive a hard bargain, but we'll take it! Teacher : Make sure you record any transactions for when you write your formal lab reflection. It's that simple.  You can base what you trade on how you're feeling that day, the after market value, or how much you like the student.  I'll admit that I even caved when a group had no materials left to trade but offered me a sweet pen.  Bribery got the best of me that day (but I still have the pen :).   I also give students .5 point back for each whole, unused material they can turn in at the end.  

Step 3: Lab Reflection

Lab Reflection

Procedure Continued (written in paragraph form with NO personal pronouns)  It should read much like a cookbook. Describe how the contraption was assembled.  Were any materials exchanged?  If so, which ones, how many, what for?  Were any materials omitted?  Results: Provide an account of what happened during the experiment. Include the mass of your project with the egg.  Include the speed of the project and show all the math needed to calculate the results.  Calculate the velocity, momentum, acceleration, and force of your contraption.  All mathematical calculations should be written neatly on a separate sheet of paper and attached to the lab. Conclusion : This is the most important part of the lab! Restate the hypothesis first Include the following: What features did the contraption have to help protect the egg?  What did the egg look like after impact? What worked (either in your project or others)? What did not work (either in your project or others)? List three things you would do differently (in bullet form) if you could do this project again.


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