News and Tribune


April 25, 2012

Coming out of their shells: Highland Hills students build egg protecting devices

FLOYDS KNOBS — Intensive testing, design tweaking and working under constraints all came together in one pivotal moment for their inventions — watching them dropped from the top of the school.

Fifth-graders in science classes at Highland Hills Middle School built protective encasements for eggs to see what it took to make them survive a drop from the top of the building.

Principal Steve Griffin said teachers try to come up with lessons to keep students engaged as the school year comes to a close and their minds begin to wander toward vacation.

“Our fifth grade is really doing a great job of using wow lessons that really keep them interested during these last few weeks of school,” Griffin said. “They’ve got their minds on summer and really, the adults do too.”

Bev Sprecher, fifth grade science teacher, said students in all 13 classes at the school researched and developed their devices, keeping their weight less than 300 grams.

Students also kept a log of how many times their devices were dropped, what modifications were made and what they named their inventions.

But she said the trip down wasn’t the only hazard students had to consider.

“They had to invent a contraption that would protect a raw egg, not only from a fall, but also from other contraptions falling on top of it,” Sprecher said.

Students used household materials like cardboard, plastic foam and sponges to protect their eggs.

Tyler Milliner, a fifth-grader, said he was a little nervous about his egg protector. Even with a parachute, the sound of the device hitting the ground made him think his egg didn’t make it.

Fortunately, it made it.

“I’m glad it survived,” Milliner said. “I thought it might have died when I heard it hit so hard, but that’s just from the weight of the cup.”

His device, which he called the Dunkin’ Dropper, was made from a Dunkin’ Donuts plastic foam cup with straws inside to keep the egg from turning over. He also wrapped the egg in bubble wrap and used part of a garbage bag for a parachute.

Milliner said he had a lot of fun with the project and is looking forward to more of the lessons coming up, such as building solar ovens and water-powered rockets.

“You’ve got to really use your imagination to come up with something that works,” Milliner said.

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