Build an egg holder to protect an egg dropped from two stories down a stairwell. Materials will be limited in that any material used must be purchased using fake money provided. Points are given for state of the egg after dropping, proximity to the target at the bottom, and leftover money.
I had done egg drops before so coming up the basic winning idea was fairly easy. We used the strategy of placing the egg in a cone shaped container to disperse the force of impact away from the egg, and padded the egg in its place. To slow the fall and ensure that the tip of the cone would hit the ground we added a plastic bag parachute. Our design was a perfect success; it hit within a foot of the target, did not hurt the egg at all, and cost very little. In learning from others mistakes it seemed clear that a parachute is very useful as every team with no parachute failed. The main problem with their concepts seemed to be that they assumed that their device would hit the ground in a specific way, but air drag quickly changed their orientations leading to scrambled eggs. The important point I learned from this is never to make to many assumptions especially with something as unpredictable as drag. It is also always better to learn from the mistakes of others.
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