How to Build an Egg Drop Contraption


If you've gone to public schools or universities, you probably have or will have to participate in an egg drop competition. These competitions test the ingenuity of students through their ability to build a contraption that protects an egg from a high drop. The egg drop is such a staple of secondary schooling that it is an event in the North Carolina Science Olympiad. Using a few materials that may be laying around your house, you can create a device that will ensure that your egg is protected, should the need ever arise.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 Square piece of cardboard (at least 1 foot on each side)
  • Soft material (cotton balls, balloons, bubble wrap, etc.)
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Protractor
  • Box cutter
  • Egg
  • Lay your piece of cardboard on a flat surface. Use your ruler to measure a 12-inch line on your cardboard (unless you have a 12-inch square of cardboard). This will be the line you work from to make a perfect triangle for your contraption.

  • Measure a 60-degree angle on both ends of your initial line. Mark these spots with a pencil. Use your ruler as a straight edge and draw a straight line from the ends of your initial line. Draw these two new lines until they intersect. You now have a equilateral triangle.

  • Draw a line from the exact center of each side of your triangle to the exact center of each of the other two sides. Use your ruler to ensure exactness of measurements and a straight line. Once done, you should have a drawing of a smaller triangle within your large cardboard triangle.

  • Use your box cutter to carefully score the cardboard along the lines of the triangle you drew. Do not cut completely through the cardboard. Just cut through the first layer, so that the cardboard maintains its integrity.

  • Turn over your cardboard triangle once you've scored the entire drawn triangle. Using glue and tape, attach all of your soft materials to the side of your triangle that is now facing up. Remember, each side will need enough material to not only soften the blow to the egg when you drop the device, but to hold the egg in place so it doesn't move too much. Test it by placing the egg onto your material and fold the sides up around it to see if you have enough material to protect the egg and hinder its movement. If not, add material and try again.

  • Fold all sides of the triangle up around the egg once you've attached enough soft material. Tape each side of the folded-up triangles to their bordering triangles. Ues quality tape, which will ensure the contraption does not fall apart.

Tips & Warnings

  • Spraying a sealant or polyurethane on the cardboard before adding your soft materials will ensure you can use this device again if you want.
  • You can get free samples of soft tempered material from places that sell tempered material beds, which may help cushion your eggs fall.
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
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