Designing the Best Crack-Proof, Drop-Resistant Container for Eggs

On August 20, SIT will jointly host an Egg Drop Challenge event with National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST) at SIT Open Campus at Toyosu Campus.
This year’s challenge will be the first time to be jointly held with an overseas university.

First, students from both universities will design containers for eggs on their own. Next, all the students will write the how-to manuals of building the container models in English. Manuals are then exchanged among students so that all manuals made by SIT students will go to NTUST students and vice versa. The students are required to build their egg containers by following the instructions on the manuals. The effectiveness of the containers will be tested by putting eggs inside and dropping them from the rooftop of a 13-story building.

Through these series of activities, the students will face many obstacles such as finding ways to shield eggs from the shock in free-fall and communicating the process of building a complicated device through written and spoken English to students with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The goals for the Egg Drop Challenge is to help students gain better problem-solving abilities under pressure, fuel their creativity and strengthen their verbal and written communication skills. These skills are increasingly important in the culturally diverse and competitive real-world situations.

1. Procedure

・Each student designs two to three prototypes for container-like devices to hold and protect an egg from breaking.

・A student makes a how-to manual for each prototype. Each manual can be up to five pages in A4 size and may contain up to three diagrams. A manual must be written in English.

・On the day of the drop-test, each student gives one of the manuals which he/she made to a student from the other university and receives one in return. The student builds a device according to the given manual. The container, with one egg inside, is dropped from a height of 40m above the ground. If the egg inside stays intact, the container prototype is a success while if the egg breaks the prototype needs improvement.

・The prototype designer and builder discuss the factors that led to their successes/failures and the effectiveness of the manual instructions. The designer-builder pair then presents their discoveries to the class.

2. Rules

・Students are provided with only A4-size Kent paper and one roll of cellophane tape (15mm wide and 9m long). Use of utility knives and rulers is permitted.

・Wrapping the cellophane tape around the egg is prohibited.

・Students may not bring any other utensils. Use of glue, staplers, etc. will be considered as a violation of this rule.

3. Purposes

・To acquire problem solving skills under limitations.
・To acquire abilities to communicate one’s thoughts clearly in written words to persons from a different cultural background.
・To inspect the results of the experiment with objectivity

4. Time and Date

Date: Saturday, August 20
Venue: Toyosu Campus, Shibaura Institute of Technology
Event organizer: Dr. Yasuo Yoshimi, Department of Applied Chemistry
10:00~11:30 Build container prototypes (90 minutes)
13:00~15:10 Drop Test (16 prototypes in total)

From an Egg Drop Challenge between 2014~2016
From an Egg Drop Challenge between 2014~2016
Drop test
Drop test
Students come up with creative ideas for prototypes
Students come up with creative ideas for prototypes


Planning and Public Relations Section

3-9-14 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8548, Japan (2F Shibaura campus)