We did an Egg drop EGGSperiment and it was amazing! Everyone loved it, facilitators included. The egg puns have been less popular:)
I've never led nor participated in an egg drop before, but was interested in how young people would interact with a project that was a science experiment set in the maker space, tested from the rooftop. We're observing big ongoing interests in constructing things out of tape and recyclables, engaging in challenges, and doing things in real life that capture the "WHOA!" moments youtube is delivering, so this seemed like a project that might interest many people in our community.
We started by watching a youtube video of different protective egg drop constructions that other people built as inspiration and then moved right into an egg drop workshop!
Young people dug into our maker space, immediately pulling all kinds of tape, string, plastic bags, egg cartons, paper bowls, foam stuffing from a couch cushion, and more! Some young people self-organized into groups, while others decided to work independently. They used SO MUCH duct tape:) Facilitators loved seeing this sofa cushion foam
(that we've moved from different locations because we KNEW it would be the exact thing someone needed for something!) being put to so much use.
Despite having access to the same supplies and having watched the same inspiration video, the egg drop designs were wildly unique. One 5 year old encased his egg in an untied bag of popcorn. A group of 10 and 11 year olds carefully cut a garbage bag into a perfect circle and used a needle to stitch the parachute strings onto their egg. A group of 8 year olds made a five-pronged construction out of paper towel tubes!
We had two 11 year olds who carved out alternative roles for themselves. One managed the experiment sign up and acted as the event emcee, managing the sign up and the overall flow of the event! Another young person wrote original music to play after each egg drop- one score was celebratory for those eggs that survived and one that was a womp womp. The MC interviewed all participants ahead of time to see if they consented to celebration and silly consolation music and all were free to accept or decline.
We shelved the designs until the next unschool day. The stars aligned and we were able to block off a parking spot right out front to create an audience and staging area for the drop. Young people had a bit more time to workshop their designs and then it was time!
With the help of two other faciltators holding our very tall ladder, I headed to the roof with my makeshift pulley made of an old laundry basket and yarn! I received a round of applause from all of the young people:)
Once I was on the roof, the emcee was prepared, and the DJ had the music ready to go for either eventuality, we got started. Each person was invited to stand in front of the circle and describe their materials before placing their egg drop design into the pulley. Then, together we counted down from three and I held the egg safety contraption over the edge and dropped it!
The crowd always had many opinions!
"It's definitely broken!"
"Ooh, it bounced! I think that is good!"
"He was kicking that one around during the workshop so it might've been broken before the drop!"
The young person then used scissors to cut through their design to reveal the egg. This took much longer than we anticipated, but the suspense added to the drama and each egg revealed caused much cheering and shouting and dancing!
In the end, only three of ten eggs broke! We're looking forward to another project where maker space and science experiment intersect.