Speed, Eggs and Slam!

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Contributed By: National Science Center (Fort Discovery)
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Experiment Category: 

Objective: 

Create a safety device to protect an egg 'passenger' in a car crash.

What You Need: 

  • Toy Truck (one big enough for your egg to fit into a pick-up/dump truck works best)
  • Raw Eggs
  • Magic Marker
  • Ramp for truck (a board propped on a chair works).
  • Brick or heavy item for your truck to crash into (if you don’t want it to run into the wall).
  • Large piece of plastic or a large garbage bag (to cover your work surface).
  • Sheet of paper and a pencil
  • String
  • Rubber bands
  • Cotton balls
  • Tape
  • Toothpicks
  • Styrofoam cup

To Do and Observe: 

Set up your workspace so your ramp ends at the brick wall (be sure to put the plastic beneath the brick and part of the ramp). Draw a face on your egg give it a name and personalize your passenger. Design a safety device for your passenger that fits in the truck keep in mind the price of each object as you build (see list below). Create a chart or list so you can keep track of how much you’re spending on each design. Item price list Styrofoam cup: $500; Cotton Balls: $100 each; String: $50 per meter; Rubber Bands: $100 each; Toothpicks: $100 each; Tape: no charge. Test your safety device. Put your egg passenger inside the device, then place the truck at the top of the ramp and let it go so it "crashes" against the brick. Note your results on your chart did your passenger survive? Did it fall out of the truck? Did it crack? Did it break? Analyze your results for both passenger safety and cost to build your design. The goal is to build affordably but keep your passenger safe! What is the least expensive design that protects your egg?

What's Going On: 

Newton’s First Law of Motion (or the Law of Inertia) states that objects tend to keep doing what they’re doing until a force stops (or starts) them. So a toy truck at rest wants to stay at rest until you push it, and a truck in motion will stay in motion until something stops it. The same goes for things riding in the truck. Friction holds the egg in the truck while it gradually speeds up or slows down. But if the truck stops suddenly, inertia overcomes friction and the egg keeps moving! Your challenge here is no different than an engineer who designs safety devices for people in cars finding an effective design for an affordable price.

Parent/Teacher Tips: 

Encourage your child to come up with more than one design compare safety success as well as cost for your designs. What are the pros and cons for each design? Investigate real-life safety devices in cars, on airplanes, amusement park rides, etc. How are your egg device designs similar? How are they different?

Comments

Try it online?

lzakutan's picture
I love doing this lab with my physical science students.  There used to be an option to "Try it online" before they actually built their designs.  Is this still an option?  It was nice to have them attempt diffrent ideas on a virtual platform (similar to what actual engineers do) before attempting a solution in real life.  

Huevos e inercia

gilda's picture
Antes podia acceder al juego interactivo, por que ahora no se puede

online option for speed, eggs and slam?

MrsErnst's picture
Try it online? I love doing this lab with my physical science students.  There used to be an option to "Try it online" before they actually built their designs.  Is this still an option?  It was nice to have them attempt diffrent ideas on a virtual platform (similar to what actual engineers do) before attempting a solution in real life.   - See more at: http://www.teacherstryscience.org/kidsexperiments/speed-eggs-and-slam#sthash.zByNSVgp.dpuf