Skydiving Eggs – Kids Experiment

How do helmets protect our heads from injury? Why does landing on a cushion soften our fall? Today we’re going to go over a fun and exciting experiment involving eggs diving off a platform. This is the ‘Skydiving Eggs’ experiment and is a fun kids activity to try at home. For this experiment, you will need the following things:

You will need:

  • A few eggs (amount depending on how many you want to sky-dive)
  • A platform to dive from (such as a large bottle, jar or wine cooler)
  • Different materials to tape onto your eggs (such as cardboard, bubble wrap and cotton balls)
  • Tape
  • Scissors (optional)
  • Permanent marker (optional)
  • A bowl or pan for your eggs to land in (optional)

Method:

  • If you so choose, you can first use a permanent marker to draw on numbers or faces onto your eggs. Just be aware that some of these eggs may go “splat” during the experiment!
  • Once you’ve sorted your eggs and decided how many you want to use, prepare your diving platform and bowl or pan (if you want to keep mess to a minimum). For each egg you decide to use, you must tape on a different material to all but one. For example, I used 4 eggs and equipped one with a cardboard helmet, bubble wrap helmet and cotton ball helmet while leaving the last egg with no protection at all.
  • Now one by one, you can push your eggs off the diving platform and compare the damage of each one after the fall. Make sure to keep the diving platform the same for each egg and not put any unnecessary force into your pushes.
  • After that it’s time to report the damage! Compare the state of each egg after the fall, were there any eggs that cracked or even split open? Based on this, what material made for the best “cushion” when the egg collided with the hard surface? And how damaged did your defenseless egg get? If you want, why not try the ‘Skydiving Eggs’ experiment again with an even higher diving platform. How high do you think the diving platform will have to be until all the eggs splat?

The Science Bit:

So why do certain materials give your eggs a softer landing? The level of protection from the materials you taped onto your eggs highly depends on what the materials are made of. For example, wrapping or taping on bubble wrap will serve as good protection because of the tiny bubbles of air. The air pockets found inside bubble wrap essentially act as padding to protect the egg against falls. This is why delivery packages are commonly wrapped inside bubble wrap to prevent damage.

The egg without any protection on it at all is our “control group”, it basically exists so that we can get a better grasp on the comparison between an egg falling with protection and an egg falling without one. While the different materials used can help us decipher what materials serve as the best protection for the eggs.