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Eggs away!
by Michelle Zewin
Apr 14, 2008 | 1898 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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<a href=>Tribune/Tony Contini</a> Jesse Hall Elementary first graders scream with excitement, hoping that their eggs land safely at the Egg Drop on Friday.
As first grade teacher Tim Davies stood on the roof of Jesse Hall Elementary School, nearly a hundred kids stared up at him wide-eyed. But it wasn’t fear in their eyes. It was anticipation for what he was about to do next. As Davies neared the edge of the roof he let the plastic baggy in his hands fly.


“Eww!” a crowd of first graders yelled out. Another teacher picked up the bag displaying what was left of a few eggs — a gooey mess. The ‘ewws’ quickly turned into uncontrollable giggles. The second annual Egg Drop had begun.

“We’re teaching them gravity,” Davies said. “That things will always fall down on earth unless they’re held up by something.”

Parachutes and balloons were two gravity-defying mechanisms on hand Friday. But most students laughed at gravity’s pull and simply opted to wrap their eggs in various objects that would cushion the impact.

“The goal is to create some contraption for the egg to see which ones can survive,” Davies said. “There’s no rules whatsoever. It’s whatever they come up with.”

And the students came up with plenty. From rubber casings to covering the egg with peanut butter and putting it in boxes filled with Styrofoam peanuts or packaging wrap. One clever student even put the egg in pantyhose and then attached it to each side of a box so it was suspended in the air. This egg survived.

“We just have fun with it,” teacher Virginia Palmer said. “It gets them excited.”

While dubbed the egg ‘drop,’ the egg ‘throw’ would be a much more appropriate name. Davies gave every egg a good chuck off the roof, much to the delight of the students peering up eagerly from a safe distance below.

“This is going to be a mess,” Jill Davies said with a smile just before Tim began chucking the eggs off the roof. Jill and Tim have been a tag team in the classroom for about 12 years.

Using a bullhorn, Davies called out the name of the student’s egg he was about to throw. After hearing their name, the students eagerly waited for the egg to hit the pavement, hoping they didn’t hear a “splat.” When it hits the ground they run and scoop it up and bring it to the nearest teacher who cuts open the contraption to see if the egg survived. Awaiting the fate of their egg is almost agony for the first graders. Some bounce up and down in anticipation while others can’t even look.

Of the 29 students participating in the Davies’ class, 18 of their eggs landed undamaged. Josh Ricker, 6, is the proud owner of one of the undamaged eggs. He wrapped his egg first in one box filled with toilet paper. He then put that box inside another full of bubble wrap.

“I used a whole package of bubble wrap,” Josh said proudly.

And it paid off. After Davies chucked Josh’s box from the roof, Josh ran to retrieve it and found his egg nestled safely inside without a crack. He smiled ear to ear and raised his egg triumphantly.

After all the eggs were thrown, the first graders had to report their findings. The students from the three first grade classes participating in the Egg Drop were responsible to write a science report that included what materials were used and a hypothesis. Following the Egg Drop the students could add their conclusions telling if the experiment proved or disproved their hypothesis.

“It’s similar to a science fair project but modified for first graders,” school secretary Cynthia Bylund said. “Let me tell you what, the Egg Drop is really a hoot. It’s so much fun to see the kinds of containers these kids come up with and to see which eggs break and which don’t.”
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