The egg drop challenge is a favorite when it comes to STEM activities for kids.
The idea behind it is designing a container that can hold a raw egg and keep it from breaking when dropped from a high place.
It’s simple enough that younger children can participate, but it can easily be modified and made more challenging for older kids.
The egg drop is fun when done on its own. But it’s also a great Horton Hatches the Egg STEM activity.
And with spring just around the corner, it is the perfect time to get outside and give it a try.
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Horton Hatches the Egg Activity
We decided to pair this STEM activity with one of our favorite Dr. Seuss books, Horton Hatches the Egg.
It fits perfectly with the story, as Horton is faithful in his promise to protect the egg. The message of being faithful and doing what you promised, even when it isn’t easy, is so important.
We had fun making nests that would protect the egg, just as Horton promised he would do.
If you are doing it with a large group of children you could have them work in pairs.
You can find a variation of this and 50 other engineering projects in my new book, Awesome Engineering Activities for Kids.
Egg Drop Challenge
For this activity you will want to have scissors and tape on hand, plus a variety of building materials for kids to explore.
You will also need a few raw eggs for this STEM project.
- Small Boxes
- Cardboard Tubes
- Plastic or Paper Cups
- Shredded Paper
- Bubble Wrap
- Packing Peanuts
- Cotton Balls
- Plastic Shopping Bags (can be used as parachutes or for packing)
- Drinking Straws
- Pipe Cleaners (Chenille Sticks)
- Craft Sticks
Part of the engineering process is experimenting with different designs and materials.
Let your child test their ideas out and make changes if needed.
Remind them that this is how scientists and engineers learn. They make mistakes and they come up with new ideas to try.
Once the egg drop containers are built, and the eggs are safely tucked inside, it’s time to find a high spot to drop them from.
If you have a ladder handy you can carry the containers up and drop them from the top of the ladder.
You can also stand on a sturdy picnic table like we did or even drop them out of a second story window.
Once they’ve been dropped, carefully open each container to see if it was successful.
Egg Drop Ideas
Once your child has been successful, you can increase the difficulty level and have them try it again.
- Allow kids to only choose 2-3 items from your box of materials.
- Try dropping the containers from increasingly higher positions to discover which containers continue to work.
- Assign the items and the quantity they can use. (For example, “You may only use cardboard tubes and 3 feet of tape.”)
This egg drop activity makes a perfect Horton Hatches the Egg STEM activity to go with the classic Dr. Seuss book.
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Updated from February 26, 2018.