Physics students get "eggs-cellent" learning opportunity

Junior Lucas Gerst constructed an “airbag” type contraption using momentum and impulse concepts he learned in Erin Mulanax’s Physics class. 

The purpose of the lab was to protect an egg from cracking or breaking when dropped from the top of the stairs to the swimming pool spectator area. 

Gerst spent two full nights working on his design.

“I was a little scared the egg might slip out of the protective pyramid I built, but it was fine and everything stayed together,” he said. 

Gerst and Bartholomew (that’s what he named his egg) earned all 15 points for passing the “airbag” test. 

“They were limited to what they could use to build the ‘airbag’ but they could use an unlimited amount of those materials,” Mulanax said. 

Students were allowed to use straight non-bendable straws, 3-inch or smaller metal paper clips, rubber bands, masking or scotch tape, standard size nonlotioned facial tissue, and one unboiled, unenhanced Grade A large chicken egg.

After returning to class, Mulanax said they began working on their lab report portion of the assignment. 

“They reviewed recordings of their drops and now have to explain their design and the physics concepts used,” she said. “They need to include any problems they encountered and how to solve them using physics ideas.

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Pattonville School District

11097 St. Charles Rock Road
St. Ann, MO 63074
(314) 213-8500

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