We began this week by introducing engineering in general. The class
told us what they already knew about engineering, establishing that
engineers made things like bridges, cars, and airplanes. We explained
that engineers were responsible for very simple things as well, like
chairs. A worksheet with the engineering design process was passed out,
and we went through the process for making a chair using the design
process. Once the class understood the engineering design process, we
introduced the egg drop activity as the "problem". Using the materials
provided (coffee filters, cotton balls, tape, straws, string), they
needed to construct a device that would prevent an egg from breaking
when dropped from three feet off the ground. This activity went very
well. The kids were enthusiastic, and the threat of the egg breaking
added an element of excitement. Almost every group kept their egg from
breaking. After the activity, we recapped what worked and what didn't.
We discussed what materials were the most valuable in the design and
recapped the engineering design process.