Incubation and Embryology - University of Illinois

How Fragile Is an Egg?


Science, Math, Language Arts, Fine Arts




Students will design a "container" for his/her egg to determine whether the egg will remain intact when dropped from a predetermined height.


  • a scale to weigh each "container"
  • meter stick or yard stick to measure dimensions
  • stopwatch
  • eggs


This may require six class periods.


Introduction and discussion

Discuss the container designs, weight, and size restriction

Assign duties:

Present equation D=vit + 1/2 gt
D = distance measured in meters
vi = 0 m/sec
t = time for descent
g = gravity
= delta, meaning change

Example: If it takes 3 seconds for your egg to drop:
d= 0 m/sec (3 sec- 0 sec) + 1/2 (9.8/sec2)
(3 sec2 - 0 sec2)
d = 0 m + 29.4 m
d = 29.4 m

Construction: Options - Scavenge for materials around school. Students bring materials from home. You provide a variety of materials. Combine materials you provide with materials students brought from home.

Suggested materials: Jello, pipe cleaners, syrup, styrofoam pieces, hay, cotton, grass, poly fill, balloon, baggies, boxes, plastic dishes, tape, glue,wire, plastic wrap.

Test day: Weigh each "container" in front of inspector and record weight. Measure each "container" in front of inspector and record dimensions. Go to drop site. Each qualifying student will drop their container. Data Keeper will record time and condition of each egg.

If several eggs are unbroken, repeat from a greater height. Continue until a clear winner emerges.

Follow up: Present award to winner. Discuss results. Using the equation given in Part A, compute the height of the building. Compare to actual height.

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